Assistants, kaiāwhina, ancillary workers and support staff.

The growth area for increasing the health workforce is developing career pathways to an under-utilised workforce such as those listed above.  The delegation of tasks and responsibilities already exists amongst most professions, but yet to be fully explored or considered by others.

Cadetships (earn and learn), designating students as assistants (earn and learn), new trainee roles (earn and learn), upskilling or specialising existing roles (earn and learn).  Create and develop workplace opportunities to those not known to health or those within.

Develop corresponding and appropriate NZQA level training programmes which are based upon respective undergraduate programmes in order to stair case assistants or trainees to those tertiary programmes, but also recognise this prior learning (NZQA) and clinical hours to reduce duration of programme.  Enable assistants or trainees to retain their FTE (reduced) roles to continuously (earn and learn).

This creates a continuous and additional pipeline to tertiary qualified clinicians, but also builds workforce capacity to existing services and enables options for those who may want to seek higher qualifications or those who prefer assistant roles.

Much of clinical work can be delegated and undertaken by assistants or support staff to enable 'top of scope' health service delivery by clinicians which inceases face to face health care by both the clinician and assistant simultaneously or inconjunction to each other.

Professional bodies, training institutions, and health organisations need to work together and agree that this is a viable and realistic option to addressing their respective workforce crisis.  

Why the contribution is important

It's an alternative to some of the medium to long-term options of focusing on qualified clinicians to emerge from universities or overseas, but also for those professions where those two options have limitations of applicants.

by SteveYork on November 08, 2022 at 02:50PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.6
Based on: 5 votes


  • Posted by margars5 November 16, 2022 at 18:19

    I support every aspect of the above comment and wish to add that as well as vocational training there needs to be support given in the form of embedded vocational literacy and numeracy training to assist non-registered staff, those with English as a second language, and returning workforce members the support and encouragement they need to succeed in a system which is overloaded with `healthspeak' requiring high levels of health literacy.
    Lower literacy and numeracy levels among youth and children in the New Zealand education system and especially Maori and Pasifika is being highlighted currently.
    If we fail to support those newly entering the health system to embark on a successful health career journey we put up barriers and fail to include diversity in staff who will bring with them diversity in the people who access our health system and diversity in the views of how to change and how to bring about change. Let's ensure anyone who wants to work in health can and will be supported to do so, achieve success and continue growth and development and have a long and successful career.
  • Posted by Graeme November 17, 2022 at 14:26

    This seems to be closely related to a previously existing topic -[…]/recognition-of-kaiawhina-workforce - a lot of similar stuff is raised/discussed there.

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