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The Care Economy and Why it’s Important to You

November 30, 2020 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am


Images of jobs and the economy are overwhelmed by pictures of hard hats, half built bridges and tunnels, and even freshly built submarines and naval vessels. Our imaginations are full of jobs “for the boys”. Yet the fastest growing part of the economy is the care economy that is dominated by women: jobs in health care and social assistance are now the largest industry segment, by a long way. And they are tipped to grow just as rapidly in the years ahead. These jobs don’t just include work in hospitals and health care centres. They also involve work in disability, aged care, child care, family services, mental health services, and so on. Critically, they also involve the social housing sector.

For too long, the care economy has been thought of as being about consumption and welfare; as a cost rather than an investment. Yet recent econometric research has shown that if governments want the best bang for their investment dollar, they are better to grow the care economy than construction.

Those participating in this seminar will:

– develop a solid understanding of the care economy and why it is growing so fast

– unravel the forces driving the care economy and see that these are locked in and global in their reach

– explore the way that politicians and the media misrepresent the care economy in favour of traditional but declining industries like manufacturing

– understand why the care economy is characterised by low wages and insecure, part time jobs

– appreciate that, underpinning all this, is a gendered division of labour and a reluctance by policy-makers to see work that is performed mainly by women as legitimate and productive that offers us great hope for the future

– see that we are at an important policy cross road, in which we could on the one hand develop an industry policy that has as its goal the development of a world class care economy that can be taken to the world or continue the current trend of rolling out managed markets in which social policy becomes a vehicle for private companies to profit at the expense of workers and service standards.

– be able to champion the care economy using arguments and concepts that will deeply challenge those who insist wrongly on pursuing a vision of jobs for the boys.

Who should attend:

  • Managers and Directors interested in broader trends in the Australian welfare state and where social housing fits within them.
  • Those aspiring to leadership positions will also find this session useful.
  • For Managers and Directors: you will be in a stronger position to think strategically about your organisation in terms of both longer term opportunities, but also more immediate concerns around workforce recruitment, retention and training. You will also discover a new argument to deploy in advocating for social housing as a sector right for investment.
  • For aspiring leaders: this training will give you the opportunity to reflect on important changes taking place within the welfare state that will impact on your future career. You will take away important understandings to help you and your organisation to navigate the challenging times ahead of us.


November 30, 2020
9:30 am - 11:00 am
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