The pay equity settlement will see more workers completing Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications. Training providers are getting prepared and finding cost-effective ways in which they can support employers to get their workers suitably qualified.

Until now, achieving a Level 2 qualification has been the accepted industry standard. But now, as part of the pay equity settlement, contracts between funders and providers will require employers to provide the necessary systems and support to enable workers covered by the settlement to reach the following New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) Health and Wellbeing Certificate qualifications within the following time periods: Level 2 NZ Certificate – within 12 months of employment; Level 3 NZ Certificate – within three years of employment; and Level 4 NZ Certificate – within six years of employment.

For qualifications to be included under this settlement they must be recognised on the NZQA framework as a Level 2, 3 or 4 New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing from an NZQA-accredited provider. Employees need to have achieved, not partially achieved, a certificate to qualify for the different pay bands.

The Government will fund employers for two days per employee per year as its contribution to education and training.

Even so, training providers are mindful of increased expenditure on education and training for employers.
Industry training organisation Careerforce is recommending its Pathway Enrolment packages to workplaces. The Pathway Enrolment packages, where employees are enrolled in a Level 2, 3 and 4 training bundle, are an efficient and cost-effective solution to workforce development, says Chief Executive Ray Lind.
“These bundles can be customised to best suit the employer’s training needs and employee qualification level,” he says.
“Careerforce’s workplace advisors support employers to set up the training infrastructure to develop sustainable and continued on-job training and in-house assessment.”

Training provider New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC) is encouraging its health and wellbeing students to complete the Level 3 Health Assistant or Level 4 Advanced Support qualification to be eligible for increased remuneration under the pay equity settlement agreement.

Chief Executive Selena Fox says NZTC offers unique initiatives like qualified assessors visiting students in their healthcare workplaces for no additional cost. They also have a number of scholarship opportunities available for both qualifications.

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