Whangaitia Health Cadetship

Whangaitia Health Cadetship Logo

The Whangaitia Health Cadetship has been a successful partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Health New Zealand for the past three years, creating a pathway for working in the health sector.

The program was born out of the pandemic, when a person from each agency happened to have a passing conversation in a hallway about how to address the acute need New Zealand had for a sustainable health workforce.

It’s an eight-week programme for people on the Job Seeker benefit.  Health NZ is Hawke’s Bay’s largest employer, and has over 500 different roles. Cadets have been placed across the organisation, from Communications to Security, Health Care Assistants and Orderlies, adding depth, diversity, and mana.  They are in the classroom every Monday, and spend the other four days working.  They are paid at union rates, which is funded through MSD Flexi-Wage.

One hundred and sixty-six cadets have been through the programme so far – 129 were offered contracts at the completion of their course. Many of the graduates are Māori and Pacific Peoples.

Māori and Pacific women are disproportionately represented in benefit statistics, exacerbated by COVID-19, Cyclone Gabrielle, and the number of children in benefit-dependent households.  This course helps to reduce barriers to employment for these groups.

Health New Zealand and MSD have a strong partnership, which is testament to the success of the programme. Both agencies have brought passion, commitment and trust to the process. Each has played to its strengths and contributed to the shared vision. Key staff from both organisations are collectively coaching colleagues in other regions to establish the cadetship programme with the view a nationwide programme will be established.

There are a number of success stories that demonstrate just how life-changing the programme has been. 

Watch This Video For More Information On The Cadetship:

See What Previous Cadet's Have To Say About Their Journey:

Jel - Newborn Hearing Screening Kaiawhina:

Will - Senior Security Officer:

Borere & Sia - Health Care Assistant:

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