National Drug Strategy 2010-2015 Roundtable Consultation Report
8 Workforce and Capacity Building
The participants at each roundtable consultation were asked to consider and discuss the following questions:
- Where should effort on the support and development of drug and alcohol sector workforce be focused over the coming 5 years?
- Where should efforts be focussed over the next 5 years to increase the capacity of the generalist health workforce to identify and respond to substance use problems?
The ability for treatment services to manage the challenges of workforce recruitment and retention was raised as a concern. There was discussion around the need for some parity of pay for alcohol and other drug workers across the government and non government organisations. It was noted that NGOs are unable to match government salaries, yet they are currently delivering a high proportion of the alcohol and other drug treatment services, and are competing to attract workers from other high paying sectors (e.g. mining in remote communities). A workforce strategy could consider building capacity of local people as a way of addressing the recruitment and retention especially in remote communities.
There were a number of areas identified where the next NDS may give direction. These include:
- the diverse workforce needs of the law enforcement sector in order to support them when engaging with people with a substance misuse issue;
- establishment of best practice service standards and accreditation;
- development of NGO capability regarding organisational qualifications/credentials; and