The Quality Jobs and Quality Care Project

Quality jobs and quality care


To assist aged care providers to improve job quality with work practices, that will not only enhance the lives of their workers, but also the older Australians they care for.

About the project

Care workers are highly valued by the people they care for and there is strong demand for their services. Care workers constitute a low-paid, part-time, female workforce; workers report satisfaction with their jobs but dissatisfaction with their pay, work demands, and work hours. more...

Finding a way to improve the work practices and job quality of the people who care for our older Australians is, therefore, imperative for a number of reasons. First, it has a decided impact on the lives of these individuals and their families. But it also has an effect on the sustainability of this burgeoning industry, as it struggles to attract care workers to cover the needs of an ageing society. Ultimately, however, if we can improve the workplace for care workers, they will be able to create a happier, healthier and more fulfilling situation for the people they care for at home, in the community, or in residential care.

To find out more and to download our relevant publications, visit the project website.


Chief investigators:  Professor Sara Charlesworth and Associate Professor Deb King (Flinders University).
Project Leader: Jacquie Smith
Research Fellow: Sue Jarrad
Senior Research Fellow: Natalie Skinner
Funding source: 2013-2016 grant under the 2013 Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund, Department of Health.
Industry partners: Helping Hand in SA, Brightwater Care Group in WA, Hammond Care in NSW and United Voice.


Labour Segmentation and Inequality in China

Our Aim

To identify the best regulatory and managerial responses to alleviate the labour segmentation and social inequality in China.

About the project

Three decades of sweeping economic reforms have generated a lot of positives for Chinese society: rapid economic growth, increased foreign investment and trade, and growing foreign reserves. more...

But the reforms have had a dark side. Rural and inland communities have been neglected in favour of developing urban and coastal areas. Unsustainable development has degraded China’s natural environment. And the Chinese labour force has become increasingly stratified, with a small proportion of high-income skilled and professional workers atop a much larger proportion of low-income unskilled and semi-skilled workers.

Understandably, this volatile situation has given rise to social and industrial instability; the Chinese government and trade unions have been under pressure to protect disadvantaged workers. This has led them to experiment with their regulation and innovate with their management practices. But this is completely new territory for the socialist state.

The purpose of our now-completed three-year project funded by the Australian Research Council, therefore, was to help identify the best levers to contain this economic inequality. Given the strong trade relationship between our two nations, it is undoubtedly in Australia’s interests to promote stability and prosperity in China.

To find out more about this project, email Professor Ying Zhu.


Researchers: Professor John Benson and Professor Ying Zhu, together with Professor Michael Webber of the University of Melbourne.

Work, life and flexibility project

Work, life and flexibilityThis Australian Research Council Linkage project ‘A study of flexibilities that enable workforce participation and skill development and use, and their implications for work-life outcomes in Australia’’ awarded to Prof Barbara Pocock and partners Safework SA and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations is examining how improved flexibility can assist the reconciliation of work and caring responsibilities, higher levels of employment participation and increasing skill development and utilisation and thus improve the well-being of Australian workers and their families.