May 25, 2021 | Media
The vast majority of New Zealanders believe people working in community support roles are important to society but less than half of New Zealanders would recommend it to family as a career, according to new research.
Yet, it’s a hugely rewarding, varied and often life-changing career choice as revealed in a new public awareness campaign Life Changing Careers supported by the Tertiary Education Commission’s COVID-19 response fund.
The UMR research underpinning the campaign shows that while more than 80% of New Zealanders place high value on people working in care and support roles across social services, disability, mental health and addiction, community health and aged care, under half (47%) would recommend a career working in the sector to a family member.
For Alex Lyde, a navigator for mental health and addiction support provider Pathways, he now looks forward to going to work every day and coming home to his wife and two young daughters energised, relaxed and fulfilled.
It’s a far cry from the 38-year old’s former career as a high-performing sales representative which he resigned from in 2019, burnt out and unfulfilled.
The UMR survey also shows that Māori were far more likely to recommend a career in the sector (67%) than New Zealand Europeans at 42%. While under half of people aged 18-44 years would do so.
Dr Garth Bennie, Chief Executive of the NZ Disability Support Network says there’s a huge opportunity for younger people and males, especially Māori and Pasifika, and people with lived experience of disability to make a difference.
Ms Wenman says remuneration for care and support roles has improved dramatically off the back of the historical caregiver pay equity settlement of 2017. By July 2021, workers can earn $27 per hour, pending their qualifications and tenure.
Not only are care and support roles hugely rewarding, interesting and fun, but they are also flexible with opportunities for full-time, flexitime and contract roles that can be managed to fit around personal commitments.
Ms Wenman says there is a vast variety of opportunities within the sector ranging from working with at-risk children, young people and whanau to supporting those with mental health and addiction issues, disabilities, community health and aged care.
Find out more, take the quiz, see our people stories and apply for jobs at www.lifechangingcareers.org.nz