To better meet the needs of the community-based support workforce, Careerforce has released six revised apprenticeship programmes.
These revised programmes lead to the awarding of the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) (Level 4) and are delivered as the Apprenticeship in Whānau, Community and Social Services, Apprenticeship in Mental Health and Addiction Support, Apprenticeship in Diversional Therapy, Apprenticeship in Disability Support, Apprenticeship in Community Health Work, and Apprenticeship in Youth Work.
The diversity of Careerforce’s apprentices was a major focus in the redevelopment of these programmes. With the release of the revised programmes, the experience of the apprentice will be one that provides more equitable and accessible opportunities to succeed.
Programme enhancements informed by sectoral feedback
Representatives from the social and community services sector were extensively consulted during the review of the apprenticeship programmes. Improvements were then made to the learning and assessment material to align with the latest practice, and the user experience has been vastly improved on Careerforce’s online learning and assessment portal, Aka Toi.
Apprentices will also have access to some new features including explainer videos, bilingual content, and more supporting information. The text in each module has also been optimised for a better experience using the Microsoft Read Aloud function.
Amanda Purdie, a Workforce Development Lead for Pathways and Real (the youth brand at Pathways), was involved in the review process and had input into the assessments for the Mental Health and Addiction Support apprenticeship programme.
Amanda says, “Having assignments worded and presented in a format that is easy to understand means that apprentices have fewer barriers to sharing their knowledge as well as having a sense of achievement when they’ve passed.
“We have more than 500 full time and part time staff. These kaimahi/staff are required to achieve the Level 4 certificate over a two-year period… Kaimahi can directly relate the material they learn in the certificate to the roles they are currently in, supporting the learning to embed into great practice.”
Trish Neill, a Qualifications Assessor for the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), was also involved in the apprenticeship review. Many MSD kaimahi will be enrolled in the new Apprenticeship in Whānau, Community and Social Services.
Trish said: “Improvement to the modules helps us integrate practice and underpins self-reflection and engagement which benefits clients, whānau of employees, the public sector and the public.
“We know, through evaluation, employees feel completing a qualification improves their motivation, engagement and performance.”
Changes to the Level 4 qualification
As well as updates to the learning and assessment material, the apprenticeship programmes are now in line with the revised version of the Level 4 qualification that they lead to.
In 2021, and prior to the transition of standard setting responsibilities to Toitū te Waiora, Careerforce reviewed the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) (Level 4) with strands in Community Facilitation, Community Health Work, Mental Health and Addiction Support, and Social Services.
With sectoral feedback, changes were made to the qualification strands to better reflect the employment pathways of the support workforce:
- The Social Services strand has been replaced by the Whānau, Community and Social Services strand. This was to reflect the sector direction changes and to include information-based support roles previously in the Community Facilitation strand.
- The Community Facilitation strand was removed due to ambiguity of job roles it led to and the overlap of some tasks for support roles in the community with the Social Services workforce.
- Disability Support and Diversional Therapy have now become strands of the Level 4 Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) qualification. These were previously specialisations within the Community Facilitation strand.
- Youth Work has become a specialisation within the Whānau, Community and Social Services strand.
Apprenticeship Boost eligibility until end of 2024
Until December 2024, employers may also be eligible for the Government’s Apprenticeship Boost fund – designed to help employers retain and bring on new apprentices by providing them with up to $500/month for each apprentice they enrol.
For more information about Careerforce supported health and wellbeing traineeships and apprenticeships, contact Careerforce, a business division of Te Pūkenga.