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Careerforce has been selected as a finalist in the 2016 AUT Business School Excellence in Business Support Awards.

Recognised for excellence in the Not for Profit category, Careerforce joins finalists across ten categories at this year’s awards.

Careerforce Chief Executive, Ray Lind says the Industry Training Organisation continues to go from strength to strength and this is an opportunity to showcase its commitment to enabling the care and support workforces. “These are the people that are supporting some of our most vulnerable citizens. On a daily basis tens-of-thousands of people are working in vital roles across New Zealand looking after our aged, our sick, our disadvantaged and our injured people. Our role is to work with their employers to ensure they have the competence to do this safely, with confidence and in a way that places the person being supported, at the centre of their own support.

“Being selected as a finalist in this award is a chance for us to further highlight the work we do to support these people who are so important to the health and wellbeing of us all. They are often the unseen heroes of society – the army of cleaners that keep our environments and hospitals clean and safe, the healthcare assistants, those who work with our aged, the youth workers, the social workers and the people supporting our medical practitioners – we are working tirelessly in the background to help them to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Lind adds that with the expected rise of 50 to 70 percent over the next 15 years of  people working in care and support roles, it is essential that this workforce has a plan to support our ageing and growing population, who increasingly present with more complex and/or multiple health needs.

“The Government has a desire for people to be cared for in their homes for longer and to be discharged from hospital earlier, freeing up hospital beds … for this to happen we must have more people, with more skills.”

Upskilling and enabling those that are already employed is the first step in this process. Attracting new people into these roles is also vital, says Lind.

In addition to the work Careerforce does as the Government appointed body that sets assessment standards within our sectors and support of  workplace training, it works with multiple organisations and agencies to improve resources, visibility, skill and options for the health and wellbeing industries. Among these is the Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan, a joint initiative with Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ), an arm of the Ministry of Health. The plan is one of the six strategic priorities of HWNZ.

The AUT Excellence in Business Support Awards, now into their eleventh year, are the only national performance measure for New Zealand business support organisations.

“AUT’s Business School differentiates itself with the depth of engagement with industry for the benefit of staff and students. These annual awards are one of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to industry,” says AUT Business School Acting Dean, Professor Kate Kearins.

Winners of the ten category awards and the supreme award will be named at a gala dinner on 5 October.