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Pacific Homecare workforce training programme a winner

Pacific Homecare workforce training programme a winner at the 2013 Diversity Awards NZ

30 August 2013

Successful Homecare provider Pacific Homecare won the Skills Highway Award at the 2013 Diversity Awards NZ, held at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel last night.

An initiative of the Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Trust, the Diversity Awards NZ are influential in increasing awareness of the business benefits of supporting diversity and helping employees meet their commitments at work and home.

Pacific Homecare’s workplace literacy training initiatives were commended, when they were crowned winners of the Skills Highway Award amongst a competitive category of entrants, including Noel Leeming, Bupa Care Services, The Warehouse and Westpac.

The organisation was also a finalist in the Diversity Award category, along with well known organisations including Dulux, New Zealand Steel, Unitec and category winner New Zealand Defence Force.

The Skills Highway award recognises workplaces which can show how they have helped improve their employees' reading, maths and communication skills.

“One of our Mamas said that the training was much more than learning skills for work,” says Pacific Homecare Chief Executive Hamish Crooks.

“By applying them and understanding what the curriculum was about, she was able to share those with her children and family. To gain recognition at these awards is awesome not only for our workers, but our families and communities in South Auckland, who are from such diverse backgrounds, which makes it all the more fitting.”

Pacific Homecare’s literacy training initiatives date back to 2011. For 92% of Pacific Homecare staff, English is spoken as a second language. This presented a challenge in communicating the vision and values of Pacific Homecare, as well as building consistency and the capability to deliver a high standard of service.

Pacific Homecare’s Chief Executive Hamish Crooks says the organisation recognised that its ability to deliver quality services and expand depended on the capabilities of its staff. In 2011, they prioritised lifting the literacy and numeracy levels of staff to ensure on-going staff development, and partnered with learning and development experts the Learning Wave.

The initiatives were designed to lift literacy across the board. They also ensured staff had sufficient foundation skills to obtain industry qualifications, which were becoming essential to work within the heath care sector.

Hamish says: “The overriding goal of the programme was to train and develop staff to be the best they could be and this in turn would hopefully improve the quality of service delivered to clients”.

Results of literacy initiatives included an increase in the verbal reporting of client changes, improved observation skills, improved written reports, staff are self-motivated and eager to continue training, better self-esteem and interaction with other staff, increased client satisfaction, and staff are becoming more qualified.

Looking ahead, Hamish says Pacific Homecare aims to have 75% of its staff reach a minimum of Level 2 NZQA by September. It’s also on track to have 100 Support Workers certified in the National Certificate in Health, Disability and Aged Support Level 2 by September.

“It was a Tonga Minister, Edgar Tu’inukuafe who said ‘Small this, but great that’,” adds Hamish. “Small things can result in great things. It captures what Pacific Homecare is about.”

The Skills Highway Award follows other successes at Pacific Homecare since 2011, including winning two New Zealand Home Health Association Service and Quality Awards in April 2013, a visit from Prime Minister Hon. John Key in September 2012 attending a workforce graduation, a successful rebrand, office relocation and renovation, business process re-engineering and workforce mobilisation through implementation of new technology.

For more information visit

About Pacific Homecare
Pacific Homecare is a Charitable Trust organisation providing home-based healthcare throughout the South Auckland region to the disabled and the elderly community who wish to stay living at home, but who need assistance. With more than 20 years’ experience serving the community, we strive to serve all clients with love, care and professionalism.

About the EEO Trust
The EEO Trust assists employers in introducing and managing proven EEO thinking and practices, encourages diversity by promoting the recruitment and development of people on the basis of merit and generates awareness of the business benefits and rewards of an inclusive workplace.


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