Workforce Development

Position Statements on Workforce Development

1. Strategic direction

There is currently no strategic direction guiding the Tasmanian ATOD workforce in its efforts to reform and to meet challenges. The development of a Tasmanian ATOD Workforce Development Strategy must be prioritised.

2. Longstanding funding issues

Governments (both state and federal) can make an immediate impact by increasing funding to meet demand and incorporate indexation, lengthen the timeframe of funding agreements to four/five years, and provide timely notifications of funding renewals. These measures will ease the burden of uncertainty faced by ATOD organisations and support improved staff retention.

3. Supporting the lived experience perspective

The sector requires increased investment to support lived experience advocates and peer workers to become part of the ATOD workforce. Establishment of a lived experience organisation is essential to ensure that the voice of lived experience is genuinely representative and supported.

4. Improving sector visibility

It is imperative that the Tasmanian ATOD sector is visible to the emerging workforce and included in broader recruitment initiatives such as those occurring across the government community sector. The promotion of ATOD specialist work as rewarding, effective and evidence-based would encourage more people to apply for work in the sector. The Tasmanian ATOD sector is small in comparison to other community services industries, which puts the sector at higher risk of critical impact if staff levels are not retained.

5. Supporting increasing complexity and workload

The number of Tasmanians who experience co-occurring mental health, trauma and ATOD issues has risen. The workforce needs support to address this.

6. Creating and maintaining partnerships.

Partnerships are vital to our work, particularly fostering and increasing collaboration between publicly-managed and community-managed ATOD services. Solutions are multi-faceted, so the ability to draw on cross-jurisdictional and cross-sectoral networks is critical to achieving effective and sustainable change.