Here at Selmar, innovation and collaboration are at the heart of everything we do — and our partnership with Groworx embodies this. Groworx is a Philippines-based organisation specialising in connecting aged care services and skilled care workers with aged care training solutions and career opportunities globally.
The goal? To support learners in becoming sought-after care professionals, improve the standards of aged care, and, importantly, addressing the huge gap and demand for highly skilled and compassionate aged care workers to support this growing sector in Australia.
Blending online and practical training: our aged care training solutions
Erin Wilson, Head of Learning Product at Selmar, plays a vital role in ensuring the Selmar training is accessible and effective for learners studying via Groworx.
“Our online training model was easily adapted to suit this international training model,” she says.
The fusion of online and practical learning in Manila equips learners with comprehensive knowledge and real-world skills, preparing them for the nuances of aged care work in Australia.
Real-world skills in a simulated environment
Rather than enter the Australian aged care workforce without any hands-on experience, Groworx provides a simulated aged care facility in Manila to offer practical training.
Here, learners develop vital skills in an environment that mirrors the actual workplace, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.
“A classroom is set up as kind of an aged care facility where you would walk in and go, oh, this is my client’s room. There are hospital beds, a hoist, and other equipment, allowing them to practice different exercises and activities that they would be expected to do as a support worker in Australia”, says Erin.
Cultural integration and the essence of ‘matiyaga’
The partnership between Groworx and Selmar has demonstrated an inspiring alignment between the Filipino values around providing care and how Selmar approaches aged care here in Australia.
“In the Phillipines, they refer to ‘matiyaga’ or ‘tiyaga’, which aligns well with our values at Selmar,” Erin explains.
“From Tagalog, these translate to being earnest, patient, and persistent, which are essential qualities for compassionate aged care workers”.
This cultural fusion enriches the caregiving experience, bringing a level of dedication and patience to elderly care, deeply rooted in the Filipino culture.
Transitioning to the Australian aged care workforce
After a 15-week classroom training stint covering in-depth theory, learners transition to Australia, guided by Groworx’s partnerships with aged care facilities.
“Learners are then supported by Groworx to sort visa pathways into Australia, which happens over around a two-to-three-month process. We then reconnect with learners once they’ve got an employer and are ready to go — when they arrive here in Australia they have a two-week period to settle in and get to know their surroundings and their area,” says Erin.
This transition is marked by practical training, community support, and a welcoming integration process. Many learners have experienced welcome parties from their communities and had overwhelmingly positive experiences!
Maintaining industry relevance
At Selmar, our commitment to an up-to-date and relevant curriculum is evident in our approach to training. Regular updates and feedback from trainers and industry experts ensure that learners are well-prepared to meet the demands of the aged care sector.
“Our courses are required to be updated every five years, but we review ours annually and tweak and update as per the feedback from our subject matter experts — there are trainers on the ground and also through our partnerships”, confirms Erin.
Feedback from learners is also regularly invited through surveys within the online course portal, so they can easily share their experience of the training and the content.
Leo’s journey: A testimony to transformation
Leo is one of the learners who has become a Selmar Groworx graduate. His experience has been hugely positive:
“I was motivated with the idea that I may potentially have a career in Australia. It was my dream to go abroad and experience different cultures. My overall experience with Groworx training program in partnership with Selmar was highly informative, transformative and empowering”, he shares.
Regarding the quality of training, Leo says, “For someone who has a nursing background, I can truly say that the quality of training we received was top notch. I am fortunate of getting the opportunity to be trained by highly qualified instructors like Coryn. She provided me the necessary tools to handle every challenge with confidence during my placement here in Australia.”
Now feeling settled and happy following his move to Australia, Leo was grateful for a supportive experience:
“I have always had a fascination of experiencing new cultures, so my eagerness to immerse has allowed me settle quite well. Moreover, the culture training that was given to us by Selmar and Groworx training was very insightful and helped everyone to adapt easily to Aussie culture.”
Future prospects: expanding internationally
For the team behind the partnership between Selmar and Groworx, replicating this model in other countries to address the global skilled worker shortage in aged care is definitely a goal. Erin shares:
“We think that this is a model that can work in so many different countries and now we’ve seen that it works and is effective hopefully it’s something that we can pick up and take to countries where there is a willingness to train to support our workforce shortage in aged care.
“Aged care is an identified skill gap from the government, so I hope that there are solutions from a government perspective that enable these pathways to be more meaningful.”
The partnership between Selmar and Groworx, enriched with the spirit of ‘matiyaga’, is a pioneering approach in aged care training.
It supports a high standard of aged care for Australia’s older individuals, while championing the idea that diversity in the workforce brings a richness of cultural values, and paving the way for a compassionate, skilled, and diverse aged care workforce for the future.