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Initially published on INsite magazine. 

Anne Maree Court is celebrating a milestone with one of its very own staff being the first to complete a Careerforce business programme.

The Auckland retirement home is part of the Anne Maree Group of rest home hospitals.

Anne Maree Court manager, David Halewood, is excited to have one of his own team be the first to complete any of the Careerforce business programmes. “We were approached by Careerforce about the New Zealand Certificate in Business level 3 earlier in the year. We identified receptionist Robyn Russell as an ideal candidate for the course.

Robyn is much more than a receptionist. She is the ‘front of house’ and an ambassador for the whole Anne Maree Group. She hadn’t achieved any formal qualifications since leaving school but we found she clearly displayed the capability and initiative to do the course.”

The management are wholly committed to developing their staff, Halewood says. We’ve been involved with Careerforce since 2014. We’ve had over twenty people go through Careerforce programmes on this site. This includes Level 2 Cleaning, Level 2 Certificates in Health and Wellbeing, Level 3 Certificates in Health and Wellbeing, LCP Dementia Level 4 Advanced Support, Diversional Therapy, and now of course Business Level 3.”

The Business Level 3 qualification is just one of a series of brand new business programmes ranging from Levels 3 to 6, that Industry Training Organisation (ITO) Careerforce, launched during 2017. These programmes were developed in conjunction with the health, wellbeing and hygiene sectors, and designed specifically for the needs of these sectors.

According to Gill Genet, General Manager for Business Development at Careerforce, “office administrators and reception staff can often be overlooked when considering training and development. This programme seeks to respect and recognise these employees, to expand their knowledge and skills within their role and support them to achieve the level 3 business qualification”.

Robyn describes herself as a very motivated person. “My manager inspired me to do this qualification. Every day, we go through the process of working and doing our tasks, but when you have to write about it, it makes you stop and think about what you do. I felt great when I completed the programme, especially at my age. I was able to show off to my children!”

According to Halewood, “The Careerforce training has helped us ensure we deliver high quality care to the elderly people under our responsibility. The workplace training provides authentic real-world skills which are validated in practice every day. Our philosophy running through the organisation is that everybody reaches their full potential. That’s everyone right from the residents to the staff.

“It’s really encouraging to see Careerforce programmes evolve and for us to see the newer courses that come out for trainees to take part in each year. Looking ahead, I can see that other members of the team could find benefit from this and the other level business programmes.  

“Our philosophy running through the organisation is that everybody reaches their full potential.  That’s everyone right from the residents to the staff.” 

It has been a busy year for Careerforce in the aged care sector, with enrolments for 2017 (YTD) already up over 30% on the 2016 full year enrolments, and up nearly 300% from 2012. According to Ray Lind, Careerforce CEO, “it is immensely pleasing to see employers within the sector continuing to recognise the absolute importance of education and training amongst their employees, and the value this can add to their businesses.”