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Working in Home & Community Support

Support workers employed in the home & community sector help people to live in their own homes and maximise their independence. These workers provide a range of support from household management to personal care.

Careerforce offers nationally recognised qualifications and on-the-job training for the home and community support workforce. Whether you are new to the sector or want to explore on-the-job training options, Careerforce can help you find a pathway that works for you.

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 Home & Community Support Workers

If you are passionate about helping people around you, then working in home & community support can be a fulfilling career. There is a growing demand for support workers in New Zealand as the Ministry of Health has set targets to reduce hospital stays and increase the time older people can stay in their homes.

Careerforce offers training for home & community support workers, from entry level through to advanced specialist. Browse the related qualifications below to find which qualification is right for you. 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 Home & Community Workforce with On-the-Job Training

Careerforce can support you to enhance your workforce’s skills and knowledge through our well resourced, on-the-job training programmes.

A Careerforce Workplace Advisor will work with you to determine which qualificationsare right for your workforce. Together, we’ll develop a comprehensive training plan and discuss steps to set up your training. We will also guide you through funding opportunities to support the growth of your employees.

 

For me, the New Zealand Certificate in
Health & Wellbeing (Support Work) at
Level 3 was a great introduction to what a
support worker does. You’re able to branch
out and really explore how you can support
people and their families a lot better.

Matt Sang | Community Connections Service Coordinator

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.

Support workers employed in the home and community sector help people to live in their own homes and maximise their independence. These workers provide a range of support from household management to personal care.

Home and Community workers work with individuals, families, groups and organisations to help and support community development. You’ll often be the first point of contact with the health sector for many New Zealanders. You’ll work with people of all ages including young people, elderly, beneficiaries and people with disabilities.

You can be based in a variety of places like local authority service centres, government departments and community centres. You may visit psychiatric rehabilitation centres, marae, churches and recreation centres.  Hours may be irregular and include weekends and evenings.

Entry level roles in Home and Community Support 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 Care worker, Home Aide, Community Support Worker

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 Home and Community Support work will benefit from a Level 4 qualification and higher.

Examples of roles: Community Facilitator, Community Health Worker, Senior Support Worker, Team Leader, Consumer Advocacy role,  Victim Support Role, Violence Intervention role

Examples of qualifications:

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Advanced Support
Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Social and Community Services, Community Facilitation Strand
Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Social and Community Services, Community Health Work Strand
New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice

Home and Community workers need to be:

  • supportive, caring and empathetic.
  • good communicators with a desire to educate people about health.
  • good team leaders
  • able to establish clear professional boundaries between themselves and their clients.
  • well organised, with good planning skills.

The expected duration for Home and Community Support Work qualifications range from 7 months to 18 months.  Since practical experience is extremely important in this industry, on-the-job training is completed alongside work in a home and community work 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
Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Social and Community Services, Community Facilitation Strand – 18 months
Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Social and Community Services, Community Health Work Strand – 18 months
New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice – 18 months

Enrolment fees for Home and Community Support Work range from $200 NZD to $2,000 NZD.

Examples of qualifications and enrolment costs:

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 2) – $200 NZD
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Health Assistance  – $230 NZD
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Support Work – $230 NZD
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Advanced Support  – $390 NZD
Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Social and Community Services, Community Facilitation Strand – $2,000 NZD
Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Social and Community Services, Community Health Work Strand – $2,000 NZD
New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice – $2,000 NZD

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, 5 and 6 programmes for learners, apprentices and employers, through to December 2022.

As a Home and Community Support Worker you will have a chance to make a real difference in the lives of those who don’t have the skills to help themselves

If you are passionate about helping people around you, then working in home and community support can be a fulfilling career. There is a growing demand for support workers in New Zealand as the Ministry of Health has set targets to reduce hospital stays and increase the time older people can stay in their homes.

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

There are entry-level career opportunities in Home and Community support work.  There are also 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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