The first cohort of Trainee Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) have graduated from the Earn as you Learn programme, where they worked fulltime in the hospital as paid staff, while completing a Level 3 qualification over twelve months.
Trainee HCAs work in a team, assisting nurses to meet the health needs of patients. Students get hands on experience, while actively participating in education and clinical learning activities and assessments to gain a Level 3 Health Assistance qualification.
Tuliana Guthrie from Pacific Health Workforce Development says “supporting people to earn an income while training to become a health worker breaks down barriers. This graduating cohort of healthcare assistants through an Earn as you Learn programme is a first for Counties Manukau and it sets a new standard for growing future health workforce.”
“The Earn as You Learn programme is about equity. We are about making more resources and support available where it matters to enable the delivery of more equitable health outcomes.”
Loreen Makata, Nurse Educator for the Earn as You Learn programme says “all our graduates are amazing people who represent and uphold the shared values of our wider organization. They are exceptional individuals who care deeply about others; are compassionate and thoughtful. “
All of the graduates plan to continue with their careers in healthcare at Counties Manukau, and most plan to progress into nursing careers in the future.
HCA Graduate Rosie Marsters has worked at Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau for over five years, initially as a shuttle driver and a cleaner, before transferring to the programme.
“It’s been great for my self-esteem” says Rosie. “I’ve really been enjoying the learning opportunity, as well as helping our patients and providing the professional service that they need.”
“I highly recommend the Earn as you Learn programme to others, particularly our young people. It will give them a chance to work in a healthcare organisation, get a qualification, and give back to our community.”
Some highlights of the recent graduation are captured in the video below: