Meaningful careers in healthcare focus of Health and Disability Sector Big Day Out

Media release about South Auckland Year 12 and 13 students exploring career opportunities at the Health and Disability Sector Big Day Out.

23 June 2017

Encouraging South Auckland secondary school students to consider a career option helping those with disabilities to live meaningful lives is the focus of the Careers New Zealand Health and Disability Sector Big Day Out today.

Fifty Year 12 and 13 students from six South Auckland secondary schools will spend the day learning about the types of roles available and the unique benefits of working in the disability sector, in partnership with disability workforce development organisation Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui (Te Pou) and Spectrum Care.

“The Industry Big Day Out is a chance for students to go into a real workplace setting to meet the people, understand the skills required to work in the sector, and be exposed to the variety of roles and pathways available,” says Careers New Zealand Acting Chief Executive, Hugh Kettlewell.

“Over 66,000 people work in the Auckland healthcare and social assistance sector, and more young people from diverse backgrounds are required to meet the needs of the disability workforce,” says Hugh.

The benefits of choosing a career in the disability sector and the positive impact that disability support services have on the lives of others will be highlighted at the Big Day Out, to be held at Spectrum Care, Onehunga.

To gain an insight into what it’s really like to work in the sector, the day is filled with opportunities for students to hear the personal stories and challenges of those with disabilities first hand, and learn about the role of the support workers who care for them.

“Working in the disability sector is an awesome way for young people to kick start a career in healthcare that means something. Support workers help others to become more independent so they rely less on services and make more of their own decisions,” says Te Pou Strategic Disability Advisor, Jade Farrar.

“A Q&A panel on ‘Questions you might be afraid to ask’ will be a safe place for students to ask questions they might not normally feel comfortable asking about working in the disability sector. These might be questions like, ‘What does a support worker do day-to-day?’ or ‘What are your daily challenges?’” says Jade.

Along with gaining an insight into roles and opportunities in the sector, students will take part in small group interactive learning modules to help them get a deeper understanding of the needs of the sector, develop new employability skills and learn about pathways into work.

“The disability sector offers a great opportunity for the right young people to enter the workforce without a qualification and learn on the job, or study and work part time,” says Careers New Zealand Education to Employment Advisor – Initiatives, Ana Hau.

“Students will have the chance to learn and practice job interview skills and techniques with a speed interview workshop and take part in a sign language workshop to learn the basics of New Zealand sign language,” says Jade.

The event aims to inform students who are considering a career in the disabilities sector to begin thinking about the opportunities available to gain work experience.

“We want young people to leave knowing about the many options for building a career in this field. It’s deeply rewarding and meaningful work, and there are great employment pathways available for the right people – those who are compassionate, kind, patient, reliable and dedicated,” says Spectrum Care Human Resources and Learning Development Manager, Robyn Mackay.

“Senior students and school leavers can begin work in this sector without a formal qualification, and students who are passionate and motivated may consider working part time or taking part in school holiday work experience to begin building their CV,” says Robyn.

Industry Big Day Out is a Careers New Zealand national initiative connecting employers, industry and educators to provide students with an insight into the real world of work and the range of pathways available within key industry sectors.

Updated 23 Jun 2017