Newsletter for learners  |  November 2023
In this issue:
  • Ace your training programme - Block out study time
  • Diabetes Action Month, 1 - 30 November 2023
  • Learner progresses from Level 2 to Level 5 and helps build better habits and transforms lives
  • Win a $50 grocery voucher and a copy of 'Every Day's A Good Day'
  • Study sessions to help you progress your learning
  • Support for Pasifika and Māori learners
  • Keep up your studies, earn the credits, be successful
  • Your wellbeing is important to us - Take the survey
  • Careerforce websites are now more accessible
  • Deaf learner overcomes challenges to pursue her goals
Ace your training programme - Block out study time

The ‘Pomodoro Method' is a recognised and approved study technique.  This originated with an Italian educational psychologist in the 1980’s who timed tasks using a tomato shaped kitchen timer (pomodoro being the Italian word for tomato) in order to test how intervals improve focus.

The research found that our brain tends to wander after around half-an-hour of attention on a given task. The Pomodoro Method takes advantage of this by setting 25-minute study intervals, with a 5-minute break in between.

Try the Pomodoro Method by doing the following:

  • Break up your task into small chunks
  • Set a goal that can be accomplished in 25 minutes
  • Set a timer for 25-minutes, and focus 100% working on your task
  • Then take a 5-minute break away from your study
  • Repeat this four times if you have not already finished your task and then take a longer break of 15 – 30 minutes.

This means you will be getting the best of both worlds – it’s short and painless, and your brain will thank you for it.

    Diabetes Action Month, 1 - 30 November 2023
    Diabetes Action Month is Diabetes New Zealand’s biggest awareness campaign, bringing New Zealanders together to take action for one of our country’s largest and fastest growing conditions.

    There are so many ways to support New Zealanders living with diabetes and their whānau during Diabetes Action Month.

    You can check out the new eye health resource, join Diabetes NZ for a Facebook Live session, attend a local event or take part in Sneaker Friday!
    Diabetes Action Month is run by Diabetes New Zealand, whose mission is to lead, champion and advocate for change to reduce the incidence of diabetes, improved diabetes health care, and empower those affected by or at risk of diabetes to lead healthy, active lives.
    Learner progresses from Level 2 to Level 5 to help build better habits and transform 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.

    She has been able to use models of behaviour change to enhance her practice.

    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, a business division of 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.”

    Win a copy of William Pike's 'Every Day's A Good Day' plus a $50 grocery voucher
    We're giving away three copies of 'Every Day's A Good Day' . This is the inspirational true story of William Pike's survival on Mt. Ruapehu. In September 2007, two young climbers were caught in a volcanic eruption on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu and William's legs were trapped under rubble.  
    In this book, William not only shares his story of beating the odds, but he explains how he continues to find joy and inspiration from life and how every day really is a good day.

    Simply answer three questions by 8 December 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 have been fabulous in helping me with my course.  The staff are super friendly and their courses are so easy to get into and do - thanks guys"
    Careerforce learner
    Study sessions to help you progress your learning
    Here's a chance to chat with Careerforce advisors, meet with your fellow learners, and get some help to progress your programme. We're running increasing numbers of face to face sessions across the country to help support you with your learning. Follow the link to see the full list.

    Just drop in either for the whole time or for 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 we've had great feedback from the sessions to date. We have also advised employers about these 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 Māori or Pasifika newsletters, and would like to, please email or
        Your wellbeing is important to us. 
        We would value your feedback.

        Last week we sent Careerforce learners a short wellbeing survey on behalf of
        Te Pūkenga’s Learner Journey and Experience team. The survey aims to monitor learner wellbeing across the country and is completely anonymous so no-one will be able to link your responses to yourself.

        Thank you to those who have already completed the survey

        If you haven’t yet, there is still time. Complete the survey before 12 noon Friday 24 November 2023, you can enter a prize draw to win a Digital Prize Pack valued at approximately $3032.00 by clicking on a separate link to the prize draw form.

        The prize pack contains
        containing an HP 15.6in Laptop, Targus Cypress 15.6" Hero Backpack, Logitech G703 Lightspeed Gaming Mouse, and Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Headphones.

        To start the survey, please click on the link below.
        Learner Wellbeing Survey Two 2023
          "I have found the ease of accessing learning modules online and support from tutors especially at the noho marae I attended was fantastic"
          Careerforce learner
          Keep up your studies, earn the credits, be successful
          To be a successful learner, it’s important to stay engaged and committed to your learning journey.

          We know it can sometimes be challenging to fit in your training alongside work and other commitments. However, if you can motivate yourself to stay on a steady path of regular learning progress, you’re more likely to succeed and complete your qualification.

            Try to manage your work and training commitments as well as you can and complete them within the timeframe agreed between yourself, your assessor and your employer.
              Remember - you are required to achieve at least 10 credits within any 12 month period, to avoid being placed on hold, and then potentially withdrawn from your training programme. You can review your own progress via the training schedules that are emailed to you, or via iportal at any time.
              Talk to your employer, your assessor or let Careerforce know if you need additional support, or if you have any questions or concerns which could prevent you from finishing in the agreed timeframe.
                Careerforce websites are now more accessible
                Earlier this year, we completed a site accessibility audit to get a better understanding of where we could make improvements and ensure that our sites are user friendly for all our online learners.
                  As part of this ongoing work, we have now introduced the UserWay Accessibility widget on the Aka Toi Learning and Assessment platform. This widget has a range of tools to help better support our users with digital accessibility needs. The functionality includes easily increasing font sizes, activating dyslexia friendly fonts, adding contrast to the page and more!

                  You will find this widget on the middle right-hand side of all Aka Toi pages. To access this, click on the icon shown above in Aka Toi and see what the tool can provide.

                  We have also added the icon to our main Careerforce website as well. You’ll find the widget on the right hand side of the screen on all pages.  Simply click on the icon to see what the tool can provide.  
                    Deaf learner overcomes challenges to pursue her goals
                    Whangārei caregiver, Santana Ngawharau has overcome communication barriers to succeed.

                    Santana carries out housekeeping and laundry duties at Metlifecare’s Whangarei Park retirement village. Born 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, and also completed via on-job training.
                      Santana Ngawharau
                      “I enjoy the cleaning responsibilities, as well as building relationships with the residents,” says Santana. “I really enjoy conversing with each of the residents when I’m collecting their laundry, teaching them sign language and supporting them during mealtimes.”

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

                      “When it came to Santana doing her first assessments, I thought it might be difficult for her, but it wasn’t at all.  She was so keen, and it became a great learning for both of us.”

                        A key focus at Careerforce | Te Pūkenga is to respect the unique differences, learning practices and challenges of Māori, Pacific and disabled learners, and invest in appropriate supports, to achieve equitable outcomes. Contact us to find out how you might benefit from additional learning support.
                        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 on 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.

                        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.
                        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
                        • Te Pae Ora Wellbeing support hub >>More
                        • Free Counselling to all Careerforce learners >>More

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