MEDIA RELEASE: 10 July 2017
Careerforce, the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for the health and wellbeing sectors, has been tasked under new legislation to take on a new role to support the recognition of the health care and disability support workforce.
The recent pay equity settlement, which increased wages for New Zealand’s 55,000 care and support workers, requires the new wage rates to be mapped to workers’ qualifications and or experience, as set out in the Care and Support Worker (Pay Equity) Settlement Act 2017.
Careerforce has been named the lead on establishing whether existing or expired care and support qualifications are equivalent to New Zealand Health and Wellbeing qualifications for pay equity purposes.
Chief Executive Ray Lind says “Careerforce are pleased the New Zealand government has recognised our standing in the Tertiary Education, Health and Wellbeing sectors and has named us to lead this qualification equivalency process.”
The Act specifies that these qualifications must be a Level 2, 3 or 4 New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing issued by the NZQA; or a qualification (whether from New Zealand or overseas) that is recognised by the relevant industry training organisation, which is Careerforce, as being equivalent to a Level 2, 3 or 4 qualification.
As many of New Zealand’s care and support workforce do not hold the New Zealand Certificates, Careerforce is now assessing the qualifications these workers hold to determine what level of equivalency they relate to.
It is then up to employers to implement the new rates of pay for these care and support workers, as set out under the Care and Support Worker (Pay Equity) Settlement Act.
“The Act legally requires Careerforce as the relevant Industry Training Organisation to determine recognition of equivalency of qualifications,” Mr Lind says.
“We are working closely with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), whose function under the Education Act of 1989 includes the recognition of education and vocational qualifications, including overseas qualifications.”
Mr Lind says Careerforce is receiving an average of 150 email requests and phone calls per day about qualifications that may or may not be relevant to care and support roles and dedicated teams were busy establishing the relevancy of these qualifications.
“We have established a process for the assessing of qualification equivalencies. This process is being adapted and refined as we advance in our new role,”
“We have also established an internal pay equity team to understand and support the needs of the workforce and develop appropriate workplace training supports.”
As the Industry Training Organisation for the health, mental health, youth work, disability, social services and cleaning sectors, Careerforce are the Government appointed body that sets skill standards, develops and facilitates achievement of NZQA qualifications across all our sectors.
“Careerforce are aware of the pressures facing many of our workplaces and are continuing to support employers in our traditional role as an Industry Training Organisation to continue their commitments to workplace training, as set out under the Act,” Mr Lind says.
More information is available on the Careerforce website and will be updated regularly. If you have any questions about the assessment process please contact Careerforce by calling 0800 277 486 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Pay Equity Qualification Query’ in the subject line.
All media enquiries please contact Victoria Bruce, 0273730896 or Victoria.Bruce@careerforce.org.nz