Plus chance to win a copy of great resource and voucher
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Newsletter for learners  |  September 2023
In this issue:
  • Mental Health Awareness Week 18 - 24 September
  • From tragedy to a career change for mental health graduate
  • Introducing Te Pae Ora - our wellbeing hub for learners
  • Win a copy of 'A Māori Phrase A Day' plus a $50 grocery voucher
  • Drop-in sessions to help you progress your learning
  • 74-year-old making an impact for disabled people in her community
Welcome to the September issue of Training for Good - your Careerforce learner newsletter. We mark this Spring issue with a fresh new look, that reflects
Careerforce | Te Pūkenga branding. This week is Māori language week Te Wiki o te Reo Māori and we acknowledge the event by giving away one of three books 'A Māori Phrase A Day' plus a grocery voucher to three lucky winners of the regular newsletter quiz.

In this issue we also celebrate next week's Mental Health Awareness Week and our many learners in that sector. We also provide some valuable resources and share some learner stories.
If you have any stories you would like to share for our next newsletter, please get in touch.
    Mental Health Awareness Week 18 - 24 September
    Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) is a great reminder that we should try to support people with mental distress and also learn how to look after our own mental wellbeing.

    MHAW, run annually by the Mental Health Foundation, is endorsed by the World Federation for Mental Health and marked in over 150 countries at different times of the year.
    This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme is Five Ways, Five Days. For the five days of MHAW, they are sharing a set of proven tools to boost our mental health when we need it.
      Take Notice | Me Aro Tonu – Monday
      Take Notice refers to the practice of mindfulness.
        Give | Tukua – Tuesday
        Give refers to actions based on kindness, altruism, or generosity.
          Be Active | Me Kori Tonu – Wednesday
          Widely recognised as being crucial for physical health and fitness, being active is also a powerful mood booster.
            Connect | Me Whakawhanaunga – Thursday
            Connection is the ngākau/heart of our wellbeing. It weaves us together, making us feel seen, heard, and understood.
              Keep Learning | Me Ako Tonu – Friday
              Keep Learning refers to ‘exercising our mind’ – almost like taking our brain to the gym.
                Download this guide for daily inspiration and activities to help bring MHAW to life in your workplace, or at home.
                  Recognising our Mental Health and Addiction workers
                  Each year, Careerforce supports many learners in the Mental Health and Addiction Support sector to complete a training programme.  Programmes range from micro-credentials, short course programmes, Level 3 certificates and Level 4 apprenticeships through to Level 5 diplomas.

                  You may be
                  support workers, peer support workers and others working with and for people with mental health and addiction issues. We'd like to take this opportunity to recognise all of you!   Thank you!
                    From tragedy to a career change for mental health graduate
                    Richard MacDonald lost his son to suicide.

                    The tragedy led him to pursue a role supporting others with the same mental health issues his son had struggled with. “I made a decision that I wanted to help support people in my community,” says Richard.

                    Mental health wasn’t the path Richard originally chose for himself. He had spent fifteen years in dairy farming, and seventeen years as a painter.  

                      Working in mental health meant learning new skills.  Richard had also experienced his own addiction and mental health issues, and understood some of the environments where alcohol and violence were prevalent, and where kids like his son had frequented.

                      This understanding meant the learning came relatively easily. Last year, and supported by his employer, Te Oranganui, Richard successfully completed his Level 4 Apprenticeship in Mental Health and Addiction Support with Careerforce | Te Pūkenga. Richard is also now embarking on a Level 5 Health and Wellbeing Diploma.
                        Look after yourself - Manage your stress and anxiety
                        We want you to stay well while learning.

                        Our wellness team at Te Pūkenga are developing some sensible strategies and resources to help.

                        We'd like to share a short resource that will help you to identify the signs, and help you manage any stress and anxiety.
                          Introducing Te Pae Ora - our wellbeing hub for learners
                          We're excited to unveil Te Pae Ora, an online hub developed by Te Pūkenga. The hub is dedicated to support ākonga (learners) on their learning journey with Careerforce | Te Pūkenga.

                          It contains information, advice and resources about wellbeing drawn on best practice and lived experience, and was co-designed with ākonga from across Aotearoa.
                            Free counselling to all Careerforce learners
                            Careerforce enrolled learners who are going through a difficult time can now access a free counselling service, available throughout New Zealand, from the professional employee assistance provider Vitae. More information:
                              Win a copy of 'A Māori Phrase A Day'
                              plus a $50 grocery voucher

                              To celebrate Māori language week, we're giving away three copies of this book 'A Māori phrase a day' - the perfect way to kickstart your te reo journey! It's a modern, user-friendly phrasebook described as a fun and easy entry into the Maori language. Through its 365 phrases, you will learn the following: everyday uses, English translations, factoids, handy word lists. It also presents the most common, relevant and useful phrases today.
                              Simply answer three questions by 6 October 2023 to go into the draw to win 1 of 3 copies of the book and a grocery voucher. Follow the link below to enter the quiz.

                              We'll contact the winners via email, so don't forget to provide your email address at the end of the quiz.

                              Enter Quiz:

                              "Careerforce has given me the freedom to study while I mahi. I'm given plenty of time to complete tasks and the availability of support from my tutor is wonderful. I don't feel alone and am fully supported by tutors, colleagues and management."
                              Careerforce learner
                              Drop-in sessions to help you progress your learning
                              Here's a chance to chat with Careerforce advisors and get some help to progress your programme. We've started to run face to face sessions across the country to help support you with your learning. The sessions in the table below are currently scheduled, but we will be adding more later. Just drop in either for the whole time or as long as you are able. We're happy to support you.

                              We know that learners benefit from the opportunity for face to face engagement, and have had great feedback from the sessions to date. We have also advised employers about these sessions.

                              Above: Careerforce Apprenticeship Advisor Alyssia Paekau with Learner Sela Ongosia at a session in Hamilton.

                                Auckland: register for the Auckland events here.
                                Whanganui UCOL: email
                                Gisborne and Hawke's Bay: email
                                No registration is required for the other events.

                                We will keep you updated as we plan more sessions.
                                  Support for Pasifika and Māori learners
                                  Please remember that we also offer face to face sessions for learners who identify as Māori or Pasifika together with a number of other resources and supports. Please check out these pages for Māori learners and Pasifika learners.

                                  If you identify as Māori or Pasifika, and don’t receive our dedicated Maori or Pasifika newsletters, and would like to, please email or
                                    Assistive Technology tools to support study
                                    Assistive Technology is an umbrella term including computer software, online tools and specialist equipment that 'assists’ access to technology-based information. It's particularly useful for those who are disabled or neurodivergent, as well as those with English as a second language, but can be beneficial for all learners and meets the needs of many different learning styles.

                                    Ako Aotearoa has summarised a range of resources including speech to text, text to speech and screen readers.

                                      If you have Dyslexia, you're in good company
                                      Dyslexia is an applied neurodiversity that is not considered a health condition. It affects language processing and can lead to difficulty with reading and writing. However, people with dyslexia often show real strength in big picture skills like problem solving, creativity, and thinking outside the box.  They also tend to be very observant and have high levels of empathy.

                                      For a list of famous people who are high-achievers in their fields, who also happen to be dyslexic, take a look at this website

                                      Even high achiever Arnold Schwarzenegger struggled to read and has discovered that he too is dyslexic.  Read Arnie's story here

                                      With good support and encouragement, dyslexic adults can do well in programmes of study.  
                                        This year we are running sessions on dyslexia awareness for our assessors so that they can better support trainees with dyslexia.  

                                        For more information on dyslexia, here are some helpful websites:
                                        • Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand - here
                                        • Ako Aotearoa - here
                                        • SPELD NZ - here
                                          Report your overdue assessments
                                          The standard expectation is that your assessment is marked within 10 days. However, if you have not heard from your assessor within 15 days of submitting an assessment, a form on iportal lets you follow up on an assessment. From iportal, simply complete the 'Overdue Assessment form' and Careerforce will follow up with your assessor.

                                          Careerforce is fully aware of the workplace pressures our assessors are under, and the work that our extensive network of assessors do is hugely appreciated. This form simply allows us to become aware of instances where additional support may be needed in a workplace, or even situations where a workplace assessor may have left a workplace.

                                          First time users of iportal need to complete a simple one-off registration; simply go to:, click on ‘Register a new account’, fill in the fields and submit. If needed, a link at the bottom of the page provides helps with registration.

                                          All learners should register for iportal, as you can also access learning resources via the Library, and access your latest training progress report.
                                            "I'm enjoying the challenge of learning as an adult learner and applying what I do in my job into my training"
                                            Careerforce learner
                                            74-year-old making an impact for disabled people in her community
                                            Neri Johnson is busting the myth that your seventies is a time to slow down.

                                            Neri works for CCS Disability Action supporting disabled people in the Christchurch community. Neri also chairs two community organisations which improve social connection and reduce social isolation and loneliness. She was also recently recognised by the Philippines government with an award for Services to the Community, equivalent to the New Zealand Order of Merit.

                                            On top of this, Neri is one of the latest graduates to successfully complete an apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing Disability Support with Careerforce Te Pūkenga.
                                            Neri says, “I think age is something to be celebrated and not to be scared of. Age is not a barrier.  I’d like to inspire people that way.  You steer the boat where you want it to go. Life is what you make it! Look at me I’m still doing something quite amazing!”

                                            Above, Neri proudly shows off her certificate at her graduation, joined by Careerforce’s Andy Bunn to the left, and the CSS Disability Action team

                                            Free enrolment via Winter Booster until 29 September 2023
                                            Are you thinking about enrolling in your next programme, or have colleagues considering enrolling? Until 29 September 2023. we are offering free enrolment* on all Careerforce New Zealand Certificates in Health & Wellbeing Level 2 & 3 (employer led) programmes.

                                            *subject to Terms and Conditions

                                            Has anything changed? Let us know...
                                            It's important that we hold up to date contact information in order for us to connect and provide updates on your training progress. If you have recently changed home address, contact number or email address, then please let us know by submitting an email

                                            If you are leaving your employment or wish to withdraw from your training, then
                                            please let us know by completing the “Training Agreement Termination” online submission form which can be found at the Careerforce website here

                                            Tip: We suggest you check that all completed work has been assessed and reported by your assessor before requesting your training to be withdrawn. You can do this through iportal if you are a registered user or contact us on 0800 277 486.

                                            Just in time for Spring's grand entrance...
                                            Careerforce Apprenticeship Advisor, Anne Meyer has just welcomed a couple of fluffy additions, and guess what? They are named after two other Careerforce Advisors in the central region – say hello to Brian and Warren! Meet the latest recruits to the Careerforce Employer Services crew, straight out of the 'baaa-rn'!
                                            For more hints and tips, check out the previous newsletter issues

                                            Look back on previous issues of this newsletter for more ideas to help you really take charge of your training journey.  You'll also find more news stories to help keep you motivated.

                                            Previous issues of the trainee newsletter can be found

                                            Feedback and Contact us..
                                            Keep up-to-date, and read more inspirational stories about your fellow Careerforce trainees, follow or like us on Facebook

                                            If you’re having some challenges with your training, ask your assessor or employer for some advice. If you think Careerforce can help, do get in touch with us.

                                            Popular links and resources
                                            • Training Support Page >> More
                                            • Careerforce Library via iportal >>More
                                            • Access your own training progress report via iportal >>More
                                            • Aka Toi >>More

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