South-west disability and social support services have welcomed a new state jobs guarantee scheme but say more needs to be done to retain workers in the sectors.
Under the Victorian Government's Jobs that Matter initiative, Diploma of Community Services graduates between September 1, 2022 and August 31, 2024 will be guaranteed a job in the industry.
Southern Stay chief executive officer Paul Lougheed said he anticipated the program would raise the "profile" of disability work.
"The disability sector was probably quite often overlooked as a career of choice, particularly for young people," he said.
"It does professionalise the sector a bit more."
Mr Lougheed said the scheme would also help with staff shortages after the extra effort that was required to find workers for his company's expansion.
"We certainly haven't had the same demand that we've had previously," he said.
"We've just started providing supports in Portland... we went on a fairly big recruitment drive [for that].
He said he wanted more done to make disability and social service work desirable, especially for school-leavers with a passion for the care industry, to retain staff.
"[When] you've got career days when you're in year 12, there'd be teaching, nursing, but the disability sector didn't have the same profile," he said.
"It's making sure it's not just qualified people, but people that have the motivation and passion.
"We'd like to see that the profile of the disability sector is enhanced and that people see it as a career of choice."
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Warrnambool's Bethany Community Support executive manager Sharlene Gillick said the scheme would "certainly be something to consider" for social services looking to address staff shortages.
"We are facing a shortage of qualified staff to work in areas like child and family services, housing and homelessness, disability and family violence," she said.
"Anything that is going to provide opportunities for the south-west community to gain the qualifications would really go a long way."
Ms Gillick said she'd also like to see more funded "ongoing professional development, and learning opportunities and support" to keep more workers in the support roles.
"The individuals and families that we're supporting in a number of these roles, they've got complex needs and complex issues," she said.
"For new graduates in particular, that ongoing support and training on the job is really important to their development, job satisfaction and retaining staff."
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