Employment in the social services sector will be marketed as a contemporary and professional career of choice under the government's new Community Services Industry Plan, with 4000 new jobs predicted to open up by three years.
As part of the plan a new Workforce Coalition will be set up to conduct research and find ways to fill the sectors's future job vacancies, with the plan stating that an extra 4000 jobs are required to meet community need, as well as an additional 14,000 volunteers
It said that the state's ageing population, rise in poverty and underemployment, and the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change is driving a growing demand for social services across the state.
Under the plan, the Workforce Coalition will begin a campaign to raise the profile of the community services sector, which will recruit young and old Tasmanians experiencing unemployment.
It will also undertake, as a priority for COVID-19 recovery, promotion of training and career pathways into the sector, noting that there are transferable skill sets from industries such as hospitality, tourism, arts, business and government.
"There is an opportunity to engage Tasmania's young people in early conversations about working in the community services industry and the opportunities to work alongside other dedicated workers who are making a difference on intergenerational poverty and inequality," it said.
"The sustainability of the industry relies on the recruitment and retention of skilled workers, as well as the support and effective management of volunteers."
TasCOSS, community organisations, state government agencies and the University of Tasmania will all have a role to play in moving forward.
Community Services minister Jeremy Rockliff said it was a long-term plan over ten years.
"We are launching this plan, supported by our 2021 Budget funding commitment of $3.265 million to TasCOSS over three years, to support Tasmania's community services sector as one of the state's major employers.
TasCOSS chief executive Adrienne Picone said community service organisations helped thousands of Tasmanians lead more stable and healthy lives.
"Community services is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in Tasmania, employing more than 17,800 local workers statewide in roles ranging from education and childcare, home care and allied health workers, to strategic project managers and experienced CEOs," she said.
"The economic value added by the community services industry in Tasmania is $1.9 billion each year and for every million dollars spent in the industry 17 jobs are generated."
She said demand for community services would continue to increase significantly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our services have never been more important than right now and the Industry Plan reflects a shared commitment to supporting Tasmanians in every community across the state."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.