E M P L O Y E R   N E W S L E T T E R   |   S E P T E M B E R   2 0 1 9
In this Issue
Careerforce turns 25 today
Rugby player leads way for Pasifika people

Free enrolment in selected qualifications
Celebrating Auckland DHBs Literacy and Numeracy Programme
Welcome to your Careerforce September update
Kia ora

Surviving 25 years in today’s modern business environment is no mean feat, so today we celebrate, as we mark our 25th anniversary.

We are grateful for the support of our customers over the past 25 years.  We know that the employers with whom we work have choices available to them. We have enjoyed increased engagement with employers over the past few years.  In this issue of Skills for Good, we are pleased to report solid progress on the actions we committed to, to address the concerns and issues you raised with us in our last survey. The third annual iteration of this annual survey is due to roll out over November, so that will be our ‘moment of truth’ to assess just how closely we have been listening.

One other current priority for us is around monitoring trainee activity rates, as our Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funding is contingent on meeting agreed activity rate targets. If you are aware that your trainees may be lagging behind where they should be, we would welcome an opportunity to have a discussion with you about how we can support you. Feel free to email me at

Ngā mihi

Andrew Saunders
General Manager, Employer Services

Careerforce turns 25 today
Today, Thursday 19 September, we celebrate our 25th anniversary. On this day, back in 1994, we were officially afforded recognition as an Industry Training Organisation for community support services (CSSITO).

Clearly, a lot has happened since, and we are very proud to have supported the training and upskilling of tens of thousands of trainees and apprentices across our sectors.

The one thing that hasn’t changed is our fervent belief in, and absolute commitment to workplace-based training, and to improving the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders. We would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and applaud the critical role that you, as employers, have played over the last 25 years. The success we have achieved would quite simply not have happened without the dedication and commitment to training by our employers. Back in 1994, we started as an organisation of 9 staff, and we are proud to have grown to an organisation of 160, working with over 1000 employers nationwide, and presently supporting over 15,000 trainees and apprentices.

You may also be interested to know that back in 1994, Yahoo and Amazon launched, together with the PlayStation, Michael Jackson married Lisa-Marie Presley, we were introduced to Friends and Chandler Bing, and Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s President.

Rugby player leading way for Pasifika with disabilities
Once a successful Tongan rugby player with a career that took him to Japan and France, Isileli (Kai) Tupou is now following his other passion working with people with disabilities. He is also breaking down cultural barriers, by helping to empower members of his Christchurch Pasifika Community.

Kai is developing his own career further and is now completing the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management with the support of Careerforce.

Training athletes in Tonga for the Oceania Paralympics in 2008 first ignited his interest in helping people with disabilities.  When he saw the incredible successes these people could achieve, it simply melted his heart.

His rugby career took him overseas, offering great opportunities and experiences, yet his passion was still to work with people with disabilities one day. In his thirties, and realising he couldn’t play rugby forever, he moved to Christchurch and found his ‘dream’ role as Disability Coordinator for Vaka Tautua. For more information, read more.
Free Enrolment in Health & Wellbeing and Cleaning Level 2 and 3 qualifications in September and October

19 September marks Careerforce’s 25th Anniversary as an Industry Training Organisation, and 16 October is Thank Your Cleaner Day. Careerforce is an official sponsor of Thank Your Cleaner Day.  It’s our way of recognising and applauding the fantastic and often unseen work that our cleaning workforce do, day in day out.

To celebrate these two events and the important work being done in our sectors to enhance people’s health and wellbeing, we are offering free enrolments in selected Level 2 and 3 programmes during September and October 2019.

We are offering free enrolment in Health and Wellbeing and Cleaning Level 2 programmes in September 2019 and Free enrolment in Health and Wellbeing and Cleaning Level 3 programmes in October 2019.  For more information, read more.
Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) Update 
Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced the final decisions from the proposed reforms last month. These reforms will result in significant change to the vocational training landscape in New Zealand, but will be implemented very gradually. When announcing the changes, Minister Hipkins made it very clear that he remains absolutely committed to workplace-based training, and expects to see more of this happening.

The Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) is intended to create a stronger, and more sustainable and unified vocational education system. Nonetheless, it represents a generational change in the approach towards vocational education, and we are continuing to work very closely with education officials as reform implementation plans are developed.

As we have previously outlined, industry training organisations such as ourselves currently perform two key functions:

  • The ‘arranging training’ function, which will be transitioned across to the new NZ Institute of Skills & Technology (NZIST) or other providers. The current timeframe for this transition is that it is not expected to be completed until 31 December 2022.
  • The ‘standard setting and skills leadership’ function, which will be transitioned across to new Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) with the expectation that these will be up and running by June 2021.

However, for now, everything remains business as usual. We will continue to keep you updated as the reform implementation plans are developed, but if you have any questions about these reforms in the meantime, please drop us a line.

2019 Annual Employer Survey
We released the top-line findings and associated actions to you all earlier in the year, but how fast a year goes, as we are again shortly due to roll out the 2019 annual employer survey.
This will run across the month of November, and you will receive an invite to participate early November.

In the meantime, we continue to make strong progress against our committed actions resulting from the 2018 survey. Most recently, this includes the release of redesigned assessments for the apprenticeship core modules. This follows on from clear feedback from survey respondents around the need to simplify the language used in assessment questions.

We have also made strong progress around enhancing our trainee welcome and engagement activities, with the launch of welcome emails to trainees at the start of this month. This is being followed up next month with the sending out of a physical welcome pack to all new trainees and apprentices, which includes a training notebook packed with tips and tricks. These also include a link to our new training support page on the Careerforce website.

Celebrating the success of 'To Thrive' - Auckland DHBs Literacy and Numeracy Programme
In our annual employer survey, challenges around staff literacy and numeracy came through as a very strong theme. Accordingly, we’ve committed to sharing literacy tips with employers in each issue of Skills for Good.
This month we highlight the successful literacy and numeracy programme ‘To Thrive’ at the Auckland District Health Board. This programme was developed for cleaning, waste and orderly staff to create new pathways for career progression. It included budgeting (numeracy) reading and writing skills, and computer literacy.
'To Thrive' also included annual health checks, life insurance benefits, free gym membership and career development support.

Since the programme commenced in June 2018, staff have been demonstrating new skills, increased confidence and higher rates of engagement. A number of graduates have moved from cleaning and orderly roles into reception, administrative or healthcare assistant roles in the organisation.
Auckland DHB was one of the finalists at the recent Diversity Awards NZ. These awards celebrate organisations that develop initiatives to assist their employees with fundamental foundation skills, giving them new opportunities and career pathways. Check out the award video, and for the full case study, click here.
If you would like to investigate funding for a similar programme in your workplace, contact the Skills Highway Team at the Industry Training Federation. Talk to Nicky, 04 894 3190 (Monday – Thursday). Information on the fund, including the application guide and application form can be accessed here.
Pay Equity & Qualification Equivalencies
For qualification based pay equity, support workers either need to have an actual New Zealand Certificate in Health & Wellbeing (Level 2-4),  or a qualification which has been assessed as equivalent to it.  Careerforce was given responsibility for determining qualification equivalence, and to date, have assessed over 7000 New Zealand and overseas qualifications.  

You can find out more about the assessment process here.

In each issue of Skills for Good, we will continue to publish the latest 'Pay Equity and Qualification Equivalency' updates.
The most recent qualification decisions are available here.  Please also check our website for all equivalency decisions.
Industry Training Mayoral Graduations
The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) and the councils run Industry Training Mayoral Graduations to recognise the achievements of their local graduates of industry training.

Graduation ceremonies are attended by graduates who have recently completed a qualification with an Industry Training Organisation (ITO) such as Careerforce, the graduates’ family and whānau, the local Mayor and Councillors, and the ITO representatives.

The graduations are a time for celebration as well as a way to thank local employers for their ongoing commitment to upskilling and training.

As of 2019, ITO Graduations will take place in two "runs" - a May run and a November run.
The following Councils have confirmed to be hosting a graduation ceremony.
Otorohanga District Council and
Waitomo District Council
24 October 2019
Marlborough District Council
ASB Theatre
31 October 2019, 5.30pm
Christchurch City Council,
Waimakariri, Hurunui and Selwyn District
Aurora Centre, Burnside High School
5 November 2019, 6.30pm
Clutha District Council
6 November 2019
Ashburton District Council
Ashburton Trust Event Centre
6 November 2019, 5.30pm
Stratford District Council
7 November 2019
Timaru District Council and
Waimate District Council

Timaru District Council Chambers
7 November 2019
Masterton District, Carterton and
South Wairarapa District

13 November 2019
Thames Coromandel District
Council and Hauraki District Council

Thames War Memorial Civic Centre Conference Room
14 November 2019
Tasman District Council and Nelson
City Council

Saxton Oval
15 November 2019, 6.00pm
Westland District Council
RSA building, 22 Weld St Hokitika
27 November 2019
Waitaki District Council
Oamaru Opera House
18 November 2019, 7.00pm
Central Hawkes Bay District Council
Municipal Theatre in Waipawa
4 December 2019
Whakatāne District, Ōpōtiki District and Kawerau District Council
Opotiki RSA
14 November 2019
Each council has set different criteria to be eligible to attend the graduation. We have provided them with the information based on their criteria.

Invitations will be sent out to eligible graduates. Please encourage them to attend to celebrate their achievements with their family and whānau, and their community.

For more information and questions, please contact MTFJ.
Popular links
Find out more about:
  • Careerforce Qualification Programmes >> More
  • Pay Equity Qualification Equivalencies >>More
  • Gateway and Vocational Pathways >>More
  • How to contact your local Careerforce Workplace Advisor >>More
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