Careerforce has launched the Peer Support Apprenticeship programme, the first of its kind being delivered in the workplace as an apprenticeship, which leads to the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) (Peer Support).
Rod Bentham, General Manager of Learning Solutions at Careerforce said, “We worked very closely with the peer support and peer work sector in developing this programme to ensure it met their needs. We’re also very excited that we can support the peer support workforce in gaining formal recognition for their specific skills and competencies.”
Bentham said the programme is aimed at the broader peer support workforce inclusive of all sectors such as mental health and addiction, disability, healthcare or others where peer roles may be identified.
“We recognise the need for, and importance of a qualified peer support workforce. This programme aims to ensure these workers are able to support people safely while drawing from their own personal experience, and provide them strategies to enhance their own wellbeing,” Bentham explained.
Being delivered as an apprenticeship, workers will be well-supported by Careerforce Apprenticeship Advisors, who provide coaching and other pastoral care and support.
Employers play a part too
Employers are expected to play a big part in supporting their workers. “They are in the best position to provide mentoring to their staff,” said Bentham.
“We also ask that they support their staff in developing and managing a self-care or wellness plans, and have processes in place to support their health and wellbeing such as access to EAP services and supervision.”
Delivering this programme successfully requires a strong partnership across the staff, employer and Careerforce according to Bentham.
“Critical to completion of this 120-credit qualification is a dedicated peer support worker who is willing to put in the study hours. We encourage employers to provide them with the necessary support to ensure they complete their apprenticeship programme journey, and get the most from it.”
The programme is expected to take around 18 months to complete. Enrolment is free as this programme is covered by the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF).