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Working in the Aged Care Sector

The aged care sector employs over 33,000 people in New Zealand, and with the growing population, it is expected that there will be an increase in demand of between 50 and 75 percent over the next 15 years.  

The aged care sector is looking for hard working and compassionate people to fill roles such as caregivers, healthcare assistants, support workers, nurse aides, or activities co-ordinators. There are opportunities to forge a rewarding career pathway in the aged care sector, supported by the achievement of nationally recognised Careerforce qualifications.

An historic pay equity settlement for care and support workers in New Zealand in 2017 means that care and support workers are now recognised and rewarded based on their qualifications or working tenure.

Explore Our Qualifications For The Aged Care Sector

Careerforce offers a number of aged care related qualifications from entry level through to advanced specialist qualifications. For those of you currently employed in the aged care sector, you can follow a qualification pathway to advance your career. If you are an Employer, you can upskill your workforce to improve outcomes for those under your care.

With the advent of the aged care and support pay equity legislation, the achievement of these qualifications can also lead to improved remuneration for aged care workers. More information about pay equity is available from the Ministry of Health. Contact details are available here.

Support your Aged Care Workforce with On-The-Job Training


Careerforce works with many organisations working across the aged care sector, throughout New Zealand. Through ‘employer delivered’ on-the-job training, employees can develop practical and relevant skills on-site, and earn while they learn. For employers, there is no requirement for employees to leave the work site for training, or the need for cover to be provided.

Careerforce can support you to enhance your workforce skills and knowledge through our well-resourced training programmes. A Careerforce Workplace Advisor will work with you to determine which qualifications and training programmes are right for your workforce, and together, we’ll develop a comprehensive training plan.

 

Training is very rewarding, especially
when you have passion for what
you’re doing. You can blend
together what you learn and what
you’re actually doing to do a better job.

Filimone 'Tukai' Rainibogi | Lansdowne Park Village Caregiver

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers.  Please contact us via info@careerforce.org.nz if you have a question not covered below.

Entry level roles in aged care don’t usually require any qualifications, but it is likely you will be expected to train on-the-job for the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Levels 2 and 3.

Examples of roles: support worker, home aide, home care support worker, healthcare assistance, health assistant, caregiver.

Examples of qualifications:
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 2)
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Health Assistance
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Support Work

More advanced roles in aged care will benefit from a Level 4 qualification and higher.

Examples of roles: Senior Support Worker, Team Leader,  Supervisor, Trainer/Assessor.

Examples of qualifications:
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Advanced Support

To work in aged care, you should be practical, organised and responsible.  It is also helpful if you are naturally supportive, understanding and caring, and able to relate well to a very diverse range of people. The work can be physically demanding and so you should be reasonably fit, healthy and strong.

The expected duration for the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing is 7 to 12 months.  The Level 2 Certificate should take just 7 months to complete, whilst the Level 4 Certificate should take 12 months to complete.  Since practical experience is extremely important in this industry, on-the-job training is completed alongside work in an aged care environment.

Examples of qualifications and duration:
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 2) – 7 months
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Health Assistance  – 12 months
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Support Work – 12 months
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Advanced Support – 12 months

Enrolment fees for the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Levels, 2, 3 and 4 range from $200 NZD for the Level 2 to $390 NZD for the Level 4 Advanced Support.

The employer typically pays the fees for staff to enrol in these programmes. To enrol in a Careerforce programme, you must be currently employed, and have the support of your employer.

As part of Budget 2020, the New Zealand Government, announced its Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF). This fund is designed to encourage and support New Zealanders to undertake vocational education and training in targeted areas. The fund removes costs for a wide range of level 2, 3, 4 and 5 programmes for learners, apprentices and employers, through to December 2022.

Demand for aged care services in New Zealand is greater than ever, pushing up demand for aged care and support workers. If you have a passion for people, the aged care sector needs you.

Aged care workers can make a real difference in people’s lives. The rewards are huge, although the work can be challenging. You need to be flexible and adaptable as the needs of people vary. The role can include working shifts and may involve working during evenings and weekends.

An historic pay equity settlement for care and support workers in New Zealand in 2017 means that care and support workers are now recognised and rewarded based on their qualifications or working tenure.

There are plenty of career opportunities in aged care.  There are lifelong, rewarding careers in this sector and employers who will support your training and help you to get qualified on the job.

Check out New Zealand job sites such as Jobs for Good, SeekTradeMe Jobs or Kiwi Health Jobs for entry level job opportunities.  Many employers will support on-the-job training where you’ll have the opportunity to earn as you learn, get practical skills and work towards achieving a nationally recognised qualification without taking on a student loan.

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Contact us to see if Careerforce
can help you with
training in Aged Care