Employer newsletter | November 2023  
In this Issue
  • 2023 Annual Employer Survey – time is running out to have your say
  • The Careerforce | Te Pūkenga Difference
  • Careerforce graduates share their journey
  • Drop-in sessions help your learners progress their learning
Welcome to Careerforce's November update
Tēnā koutou

Careerforce transitioned into Te Pūkenga just over a year ago now. While it has largely been business as usual for our employers and ākonga (learners), and ourselves as a business division of Te Pūkenga, there has been significant work happening in the background as Te Pūkenga readies itself for a final transition into a single national structure. The finance, people/culture/wellbeing and digital functions transitioned earlier into their new national structures, and over March and April next year, all remaining functions will transition into new national structures, and away from the current structure of 25 individual business divisions.

Recruitment and redeployments into these new national structures are well underway, and as part of these, I have accepted a role as Pounuku Mauru Ako | Ako Solutions Director with the Academic Centre & Learning Systems (ACLS) group. This role holds responsibility for all Te Pūkenga products across all modes of delivery. While very excited about this new role, it is my intention to also maintain my current Careerforce | Te Pūkenga Executive Director role through to the national transitions next year. This ensures interim stability for our Careerforce whānau.

While these transitions involve significant change for Te Pūkenga kaimahi, our ākonga and employers will notice very little change across 2024. You will continue to engage with the same people, and enrol your staff into the same programmes, via the same processes. Perhaps the biggest change you will notice is the eventual transition to a single Te Pūkenga brand, and the retiring of the existing 25 divisional brands that currently make up Te Pūkenga.

The creation and standing up of Te Pūkenga is a once in a generation change, and we are still at the relatively early stages of a ten year journey into a genuine reimagination of vocational education in New Zealand that will result in better outcomes for ākonga (learners), employers, and for New Zealand Inc. If you have any questions at all about these changes, please just reach out and ask.

Ngā mihi nui

Rod Bentham
Executive Director
Te Pūkenga, trading as Careerforce
2023 Annual Employer Survey – time is running out to have your say
Thank you to those of you who have completed this year’s survey. For those who haven’t, you still have time, as it remains open until Friday 1 December.

There are now two ways to complete the survey:

Find the personalised survey invite that was sent to your email address, or the subsequent reminders (sent from Please also check your spam/junk folders.

2. We have now also created a generic survey link (non-personalised), and which saves you having to find the personalised email invite. Click here to complete the survey now, and please share this link with relevant colleagues who also work with Careerforce to support your workforce development.

Remember, each 20th survey completion receives a $50 Prezzy Card voucher, and it should only take you 10-15 minutes to complete (depending on how much you want to say!). Also, a reminder that the survey is conducted by an external research company, Carte Blanche, and all responses are completely anonymous.

The Careerforce | Te Pūkenga Difference
As we fully transition into Te Pūkenga, we have been giving significant thought to the elements of our product and service offering that our employers most value from Careerforce. It is critical that we not only maintain, but also expand upon these as we leverage the size and scale of Te Pūkenga. Over the coming issues of Skills for Good, we will be expanding on the elements that you have told us make up The Careerforce | Te Pūkenga Difference.

1/ On-Job, On Task

We know that our sectors want their kaimahi (staff) to be trained on the job, and for their competencies to be observed and assessed in the workplace. No need for complex rostering arrangements, or for kaimahi to go off-site. Many of your kaimahi / our ākonga (learners) are ‘second chance’ learners, having not achieved formal qualifications in traditional education settings, but absolutely thrive in work-based learning which recognises their experience and existing competencies. As employers enrolling kaimahi into Careerforce work-based programmes, you can be confident that your kaimahi have demonstrated the required practical and theory competencies to the required standard, in an actual workplace setting. Work-based ākonga make up nearly half of all Te Pūkenga ākonga, and growing!

2/ Experience Counts
Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) were created in 1994, with a sole focus on on-job or work-based learning.  This has remained the case since, affording Careerforce nearly 30 years of experience evolving our exclusively work-based programmes, and ensuring they meet the evolving needs of employers and industry. Every year for the last 30 years, we have supported thousands of ākonga into life changing qualifications. We intimately understand our sectors, our employers, and our ākonga. Our experience continues to build, just as part of Te Pūkenga.

3/ Our people are your people. Local and national.
We have over 80 field based Careerforce whānau based across the length and breadth of Aotearoa supporting our employers and learners. Our kaimahi come from your sectors, and they intimately understand your challenges and needs. Our recent recruits have included a registered nurse, disability team leader, support work coach, community health regional trainer, and a health coach. They get you, and they’ll still get you as part of Te Pūkenga!
Careerforce graduates share their journey
Health coach is building better habits and transforming lives

Kimi Cowan-Smith is progressing through a qualification pathway to help people take better control of their lives.

The Christchurch based Health Coach inspires her clients to make lifestyle changes, that have life changing impacts on their physical health. In just two years at Pathways, Kimi has helped countless people manage their weight, reverse diabetes, and improve their lives.

Kimi’s entry to the health and wellbeing sector began as a community support worker in a residential home just a few years ago. Initially with zero health care skills or qualifications, Kimi kicked off her learning journey with a Health and Wellbeing Level 2 qualification.

This was soon followed by the Level 3 qualification, and then the Level 4 Apprenticeship in Disability Support with Careerforce | Te Pūkenga. All have been achieved via on-the-job training, allowing Kimi to ‘earn and learn.’  

“I was looking for something new to learn after the apprenticeship, when I heard about the Level 5 Diploma in Health and Wellbeing Applied Practice. I’m quite passionate about learning and so I wanted to learn more. I was motivated to keep moving up the ladder, so I jumped straight on it.”
Deaf learner overcomes challenges to pursue her goals

Whangārei caregiver, Santana Ngawharau has overcome communication barriers to succeed.

Santana carriers out housekeeping and laundry duties at Metlifecare’s Whangarei Park retirement village. Being profoundly Deaf, Santana’s first language is New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) and not English. Despite not having other people in her workplace who are fluent in New Zealand Sign Language, Santana navigates communication using a combination of lip reading and NZSL which she shares with others around her.

With her own determination and support from her employer, Santana has completed her New Zealand Certificate in Cleaning (Level 2) with Careerforce | Te Pūkenga. She has now enrolled in the Certificate in Cleaning (Level 3) Contagion and Specialised Infection Control programme, also with Careerforce.

“I enjoy the cleaning responsibilities, as well as building relationships with the residents,” says Santana.

Claire Wolmarans, a Metlifecare workplace assessor says, “I feel honoured to have been able to work with Santana. She really is amazing.”

Photo above: left to right: Hineoma Paekau-Rush (CF), Santana Ngawharau, Ramari Dewes (CF), Dara Davenport (CF)

Drop-in sessions help your learners progress their learning
Here's a chance for your staff to chat with Careerforce Advisors and get some help to progress their programme before the end of the year. We're running face to face sessions across the country to help support them with their learning. Follow the link to see the full list.

Learners can drop in either for the whole time or for as long as they are able.

We know that learners benefit from the opportunity for face to face engagement, and we have had great feedback from the sessions to date.  Please feel free to share details with your learners.
Support for Pasifika and Māori learners

Please remember that we provide a number of resources and supports for learners who identify as Māori or Pasifika.  This support also includes face to face learner sessions. Please check out these pages for Māori learners and Pasifika learners and to see which face to face sessions are planned in your area.

If you have learners who identify as Māori or Pasifika, and don’t receive our dedicated Māori or Pasifika newsletters, and would like to, they can email or
Careerforce website is now more accessible
In the September issue of Skills for Good, we told you about the UserWay Accessibility widget that we have added to the Aka Toi learning and assessment platform.
We have also now added the icon to our main Careerforce website.  You will find the widget on the right hand side of the screen on all pages. This widget has a range of tools to help better support our website visitors with digital accessibility needs. The functionality includes easily increasing font sizes, activating dyslexia friendly fonts, adding contrast to the page and more. Simply click on the icon to see what the tool can provide.
Learner Activity Requirements

As a Tertiary Education Organisation funded by the Tertiary Education Commission, we have a set of educational performance indicators that we are accountable for meeting. This includes targets around learner activity, and that ultimately is around ensuring that our learners are progressing towards completion of their programme.

Within our training agreements, our trainees agree that failure to achieve any learning activity within any 10 month period will result in their training programme being placed on-hold, and possible withdrawal after 12 months. For apprentices, these time periods are 5 months for being placed on-hold and 6 months for possible withdrawal.

We have recently notified a group of learners (and their employers) who are at risk of withdrawal due to non-activity, and that continued failure to complete any learning will result in their being withdrawn from their training programme later this year and early in 2024.

Additionally, over early 2024, we will be recommencing the automated on-hold and withdrawal processes that were paused during Covid to provide some much needed relief to our learners. We encourage you to carefully and regularly check your monthly training progress reports to identify staff who are not appropriately progressing their training and consider what additional supports may be required.

If you require any guidance or support, please contact your Careerforce Workplace Advisor.
Reminder for your assessors - assessments for expiring issues of Aka Toi modules must be marked by 18 December 2023
We would like to remind you that several Aka Toi module issues will be expiring at the end of 2023. Any assessments that need to be marked on Aka Toi for these expiring modules, must be marked by no later than Monday 18 December at 11.59pm.

After this date, learners will be transferred out of their current module and into the latest module version, and new assessments will have to be submitted. We have also reminded all Careerforce registered assessors.
Holiday closure days and times
Please note that Careerforce offices will be closed over the holiday period, closing at midday on Friday 22 December, and will re-open on Monday 8 January 2024.
Popular links
Find out more about:
  • Apprenticeship Boost >>More
  • 2023 Prospectus >>More
  • Jobs for Good - you can list your vacancy for free >>More
  • Free Counselling for all Careerforce | Te Pūkenga learners >>More
  • Te Pae Ora - Wellbeing hub for learners >>More
  • Careerforce Qualification Programmes >> More
  • Gateway and Vocational Pathways >>More
  • How to contact your local Careerforce Workplace Advisor >>More
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