13 January 2023
Grant Cleland was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the recent 2023 New Year Honours list, for his services to disabled people.
Careerforce Executive Director, Rod Bentham congratulates Grant and also acknowledges his tremendous contribution to Careerforce’s work-based learning over the years.
“I wish to acknowledge Grant’s active participation in our LEAD Group (Lived Experience Advisory – Disability), formerly the ‘Disability Advisory Group’. Since 2019, Grant has been instrumental in supporting the design of Careerforce’s disability programmes, ensuring the disability sector is respected, represented and visible in our Health and Wellbeing programmes.”
Grant has supported the development of the New Zealand Certificates in Health and Wellbeing Level 3 and 4 (disability), as well as the Employment Support specialisation of the Level 5 Diploma in Health & Wellbeing.
Grant’s full New Year Honours citation reads as follows: Mr Grant Cleland has contributed to the disability sector for more than 30 years, initially joining the Disabled Persons Assembly at 21 and holding executive roles in Dunedin and Christchurch from 1986 to 1992.
Mr Cleland has been Board member of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority since 2021, President of ACHIEVE, a national network which promotes inclusive post-secondary education for disabled learners, Co-chair of the Ministry of Social Development Health and Disability Reference Group from 2010 to 2016, and Chair of the Disability Employment Forum from 2010 to 2019. In 2011 he was on the Ministerial Project Group that developed the now widely used Enabling Good Lives principles. Locally he chairs the Skillwise Trust, the Canterbury DHB Disability Steering Group and Ara Disability Strategy Group. He was Chief Executive of Workbridge from 2009 to 2019, the first disabled person to hold this role, where he was instrumental in the upskilling of staff and forming effective relationships with large-scale employers. He established consultancy firm Creative Solutions, through which he provides disability-related strategic advice, training and other services for various organisations particularly in employment, transition and tertiary education for disabled people. Mr Cleland has been project lead for the TEC Kia Orite Disability Action Plan Toolkit for Tertiary Education providers and the development of the Diploma of Employment Support.
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Careerforce is a business division of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Careerforce supports employers across New Zealand’s health and wellbeing sectors to run workplace training programmes, allowing staff to achieve nationally recognised qualifications on the job. For more information please see: www.careerforce.org.nz