We feel really honoured to be working with employers who value their staff and who put a premium on providing quality service and support to their clients. It was really hard to put forward finalists for this category and in the end, four organisations made it as finalists. This year’s Workforce Development Employer of the Year award category finalists are all committed to upskilling their staff, they have established a strong training culture and they have invested on their employees’ career growth and professional development.
Canterbury District Health Board
The tertiary provider of hospital and specialist services for the Canterbury population has made it as finalists. Alan Heney, Manager Orderly Services of CDHB has put forward the application to highlight the successes of their department. Currently, they have 89% of their orderlies employed at Christchurch Hospital and 50% of their orderlies attached to Burwood Hospital have completed and passed the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) (Orderly Service). He says, “Investment in training programmes can have multiple benefits including greater staff loyalty and morale, lower staff turnover, improved job satisfaction and increased consumer trust.”
They worked with Careerforce to match the qualification around their orientation programme to legitimise this and offer a qualification at the end. The investment has proven to be worth it for CDHB. They evaluated the programme in the first year and shared some the comments they received.
“I was able to see my work environment from different angles.”
“I think this programme is a success. I learned a lot.”
“Always good learning new information to provide others good care and safety.”
“It was useful information to further improve my role and understand others in the CDHB.”
“From what I have learned, it will enable me to do my job even better and more efficiently than before. The skills I have learnt will enable me to give credit to my profession.”
Framework Services Ltd
Framework delivers a diverse range of services and programmes including Community Living Services, Community Support Services, Vocational Programmes, Community Participation and Supported Employment Services. They adopt integrated approach to services, and operates in Auckland from locations in Henderson, Otahuhu, Papakura and Mt Roskill.
Framework is committed to workforce development, particularly workplace training. They have started working with Careerforce in 2007 on their 5-year Workforce Training Plan. Framework has supported pilot workplace delivered mental health certificate training programmes including the new apprenticeship programme.
Beverley Pollard, General Manager for Human Resources says, “On the job training helps staff learn new concepts, skills and experiences and builds on their existing skills and knowledge so they can provide a really high level of customer service.” She adds, “We are creative to ensure employees can study and support their clients, but at the same time, maintain their own health/wellbeing. With limited budgets, to avoid staff taking on Student Loans, Framework applies for grants and scholarships on their behalf, utilises the Auckland Council’s Training Partnership scheme and is able to provide some personal/professional training, at the fraction of the standard price, from the Auckland Business School and the Employers & Manufacturing Association.”
Framework are proud that over 95% of their staff are either in training or hold qualifications.
Presbyterian Support Northern – Enliven
Presbyterian Support Northern is a charitable organisation which has been providing social services to New Zealanders for more than 125 years. They support families, children, older people, people with injuries and disabilities, particularly those who are at risk or vulnerable.
They have employed their own in-house learning and development facilitators who are passionate about adult education. They have written an integrated induction programme that has the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 2) weaved into the programme to ensure all staff are getting the learning benefits of crucial base line learning at induction. They track the learning progress of all their support workers, and this is reviewed and discussed with their learning and development facilitators. All staff are paid to attend learning and provided with a pay increase once learning steps are completed.
PSN Enliven have top training completion rates. 96% of their support workers either have a recognised industry qualification or are currently enrolled and actively completing Level 2. They support all their support workers to move through from Level 2 to Level 3. They are now looking at Level 4 and apprenticeship pathway taking into consideration the type of roles expected of support workers with their current and projected future client needs.
Cherie Saunders, Learning and Development and Quality Manager says, “One of the most influential and visual difference I have noticed with support workers is their understanding of how to be a reflective practitioner in every day situations.” Continued learning progression for support workers is now not only an organisational cultural expectation for Presbyterian Support Northern but it is embraced and expected as part of support worker’s right to be able to learn on the job.
The Selwyn Foundation
The Selwyn Foundation is an independent, Christian faith-based New Zealand charitable trust that has been providing services to older people and their families since 1954. The Head Office is based in Auckland with services delivered in Whangarei, Auckland and Waikato.
“We believe that workplace training should be equally available to all employees; and a coordinated approach should minimise duplication of effort,” says Yvonne Bruce, Organisational Development Manager. The Selwyn pay-scale according to Yvonne has rewarded the achievement of qualifications since 2000, and has provided a pathway for trainee progression.
Currently, 41% of caregivers have a qualification plus 18% have a part of qualification. 65 caregivers and service workers are currently working towards a qualification with Careerforce and Competenz.
In 2015 the Selwyn Learning Policy was approved and outlines the philosophy behind all the workplace training that is being provided. The key aims of the policy include:
- developing skills for life as well as the job,
- effectively introduce new employees into the organisation,
- provide equal opportunities for learning and development,
- develop leaders at all levels,
- develop skills and knowledge to progress along a career pathway,
- prepare employees to respond to changes in customer requirements, work systems and services,
- be valued by and be of value to employees.