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As the demands on the New Zealand workforce in the health, social and community services and community sectors increase, so too must the innovation required to ensure our workforce is sufficiently skilled, said Louise Upston, Associate Minister for Tertiary, Education, Skills and Employment.

Speaking at the Careerforce Workforce Development Conference in Wellington today, she identified that continued innovation, including a renewed focus on apprenticeships, is required to continue to meet the market demands for a more competent and skilled workforce. “A New Zealand Apprenticeship sets a person up for a career in industry, and training on the job means at the end of their training, the apprentice is work competent in their chosen field, and completes a level four qualification.

“Being work competent is absolutely critical to ongoing employment,” said Minister Upston.

Today she announced the introduction of apprenticeship training in the health and wellbeing sectors.

These are the first New Zealand Apprenticeships in this sector and Careerforce, the industry training organisation which has developed the New Zealand qualifications are committed to supporting experienced, mature and second chance learners to have their skill, knowledge and experience recognised and valued through a formal qualification.

Minister Upston (also Minister for Women) acknowledged the power there is in enabling women to earn while they learn. This Careerforce initiative will significantly raise the number of women who will be undertaking New Zealand Apprenticeships. Currently only eight per cent of all New Zealand Apprentices are women, and with Careerforce anticipating over 1000 apprentices being enrolled in this training by the end of 2017 (the vast majority being women) this will impact positively on opportunities for women to realise their potential and advance their careers.

Ray Lind, chief executive of Careerforce says these apprenticeships have been developed with the sectors they support to ensure the training reflects what these people do in their workplaces every day. “The introduction of apprenticeships realises the skill level required to support health and wellbeing in New Zealand, including the reduction of abuse, neglect and violence and supporting people to live well and independently,” Lind says.

These apprenticeships are all about the work these people do every day – the work that makes our communities stronger, healthier and more independent. “Content includes supporting people, whānau and families to build resilience and autonomy,” he said. All the training has an emphasis on preventing ill health, understanding what detracts from wellbeing, and supporting people to reduce their vulnerability and to help them to build resilience and enhanced self-management.

The three initial level 4 New Zealand Apprenticeships being launched in January are:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing – Social and Community Services
  • New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing – Primary Care Practice Assistance
  • New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing – Rehabilitation Support in Brain injury

Updated 2 November 2015