More beneficiaries to train as aged care workers as Auckland pilot rolled out nationally

One-hundred-and-sixty beneficiaries will be trained for aged care jobs across the country as the Government expands a programme started as a pilot in Auckland.

The Ministry of Social Development has partnered with Medcall, a recruitment and staffing company specialising in the healthcare sector, to train 160 MSD clients for aged care jobs in eight regions, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced.

She said the partnership between Medcall and the ministry started in February to deliver a healthcare employment pilot in Auckland.  

It resulted in nearly 40 people finding work, including some who’d been on benefit for long periods and are now working and training towards a healthcare diploma, Ms Sepuloni said. 

Due to the pilot’s success and on-going demand from industry employers and associations, MSD will roll out the initiative to clients across the Canterbury, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Auckland, Wellington, Central, Southern, and Nelson regions. 

"We have a rapidly ageing population and a shortage of workers in the aged care industry so it makes sense that we partner with companies like Medcall, to train New Zealanders for an industry that is growing fast and will continue to do so," Ms Sepuloni said. 

She said the recent pay equity settlement for care workers means that those working in the industry now have better pay, conditions and training opportunities, resulting in sustainable work for the employee and a more skilled workforce for the employer. 

The national rollout starts in Canterbury today with a meet and greet expo event for local employers and MSD candidates. The ministry says the job expo will help match the right candidate to the job. 

The ministry says MSD clients in the Bay of Plenty are being referred to their upcoming regional event, and it's expected Waikato clients will be able to be referred before Christmas. 

The Aged Care Association last month said the sector is in crisis, with a huge shortage of nurses and a growing aged population which is expected to more than double in the next two decades.

The association said registered nurses are leaving for better paid jobs with district health boards and it wants the Government to plug the pay gap.

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    160 staff will be trained for jobs in eight regions, to help supply a shortage of workers. Source: Breakfast