April 12th, 2023

Thrive by Five supports calls to boost men’s participation in the care workforce.



12 April 2023 – Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative supports proposals by Australian Treasurers to boost men’s workforce participation within the care industries including early childhood education and care (ECEC).

The calls from the Board of Treasurers – comprising Treasurers from all States and Territories) – are contained in a submission to Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ Employment White Paper and are aimed at addressing workforce shortages within critical care industries, boosting productivity and challenging gender stereotypes.

Thrive by Five’s Director Jay Weatherill said that increasing men’s participation in the care workforce would go a long way to addressing the current shortages and help create a diverse, resilient and robust ECEC workforce for the future. It would also likely increase wages in the early learning sector.

“The early years of a child’s life are crucial for development and encouraging more men to take up roles within the early childhood education sector is a welcome move,” Mr Weatherill said.

“Building a diverse ECEC workforce with more representation from men will also allow for children to benefit from male role models in the early years,

“Australia is currently experiencing an unprecedented workforce shortage, with more than 4,277 new jobs vacancies across the ECEC sector, according to the latest Internet Vacancy Data from Jobs and Skills Australia. [1]

“It’s vital that careers in the sector are made more attractive to people of all genders and existing employees are encouraged to remain in the early learning workforce.

“This would include funding an immediate pay rise for all early childhood educators and establishing a process for sector collaboration around longer-term early childhood education and care workforce reform.

“Workers in the care workforce deserve to be respected and compensated fairly for the vital work they do.

“Demonstrating the commitment to addressing workforce challenges within care industries must also include action on funding wage increases and addressing unmanageable workloads.

“We must strive to develop and implement a workforce strategy that values our dedicated teachers, educators and other early years workers with equal pay, equal qualifications and respect, along with measures to encourage and male participation.”