Cadetship opens door to careers in health
A career in health just got a step closer for two young Porirua women undertaking the first ever Youth Health Ambassador Cadetship.
Created in partnership between Tū Ora Compass Health and the Porirua Youth 2 Work Movement the cadetship offers a 9-month work experience and study combination.
Michelle Robinson, Executive Director for Partners Porirua, which leads the Youth 2 Work Movement, says the two young women taking part in the cadetship will come out the other end with invaluable work experience in the health sector and a Level 3 Certificate in Youth Development.
“This will be a real leg up for them to enter into further study or employment in health and youth related fields.
“We’re all about creating employment opportunities for young people and exposing them to the health sector.”
Ms Robinson say this cadetship is a test case with the view to expanding the programme into other sectors working with different types of employers.
“Once they’ve finished, we’ll be supporting them to secure future employment or further training, whatever their next steps are.”
Tū Ora Compass Health and Partners Porirua took the cadetship opportunity to Porirua JOBfest 2018. They received 19 applications, shortlisted, interviewed and offered the roles to Sieni Thetadig and Hineora Mike who started in October 2018 and will finish in June 2019.
As a young parent Hineora had struggled to find a job that was flexible enough to accommodate the hours she needed to work to be there for her son.
“I feel super blessed at the moment. Honestly, I didn’t think I would ever find a job that would suit me and my boy, as well as giving me the chance to finish off the Level 3 credits that I hadn’t done.”
After leaving school early Hineora had joined the teen parent unit to obtain some qualifications but left just shy of completing Level 3.
“The Certificate in Youth Development I’m doing now goes towards Level 3 so it’s all just really working out for me right now. I’ve found my passion, it’s something I’ve been looking for, and for a long time I felt a bit lost. I don’t feel so lost, now I know what I want to do career wise and future wise and it feels more grounding for me and my son.”
Hineora says Tū Ora Compass Health has provided a great support network. “There’s so much to learn, so many different roles in the health sector and the team have been really open about sharing their stories and experiences and showing me that there are so many opportunities and you just have to keep putting yourself out there.”
Hineora is planning to undertake a degree in youth development once her cadetship finishes.
For Sieni the cadetship was a bit of a dream come true, she’d struggled to find a job after leaving school and was applying for anything and everything.
She found out about the Youth Health Ambassador role and really liked the sound of it.
“It was a chance to work on different projects in the health sector on things like skin and mental health and that’s the field I really wanted to get into.”
Sieni can see her future opening up ahead of her now. “After this I might go into doing a Degree in Health Psychology and when I’m fully qualified I want to work as a psychologist because working at Compass has helped me to see all the different types of jobs you can do within the health sector.”
“I’ve been so very very lucky because this is a one-off job opportunity, it’s made a massive difference to my life and I can now think about things from all different angles.”
Sieni is loving being a part of a team contributing to different projects and then getting out into the community to see the health programmes in action.
“It’s a chance to see things from a different perspective. It was my dream to do something like this and now I am!”
Tū Ora Compass Health
Ranei Wineera-Parai is the Maori Population Health Team Leader at Tū Ora Compass Health. As a partner of the Youth 2 Work Movement she’d been exploring ideas with the team on what they could offer to young people.
“Within Tū Ora Compass Health we have a lot of very experienced, mature workers. Because we do provide youth services, we felt that the youth voice was missing and that we’d really benefit from having some young people around contributing to our projects and providing advice. Sometimes they don’t even realise that when they’re having conversations, they’re providing us with advice and information we wouldn’t have otherwise – we can really see the value in having them around.
“We had the gap, but we also had the experience to mentor these young people. I would have loved to have started out in work the way they are starting – it’s a nice way to start work.”
Ranei says studying is an important part of the programme. “We wanted them to achieve a qualification, obtain work experience and receive a salary all at the same time. When they do leave us, they will have completed their study and that’s something they can put on their CVs. As well as the Certificate in Youth Development they are also taking part in self-management training and cultural training.”
As part of the cadetship Tū Ora Compass Health have put support around the cadets. “We’ve put a team around them, they’ve got buddies and mentors and we’re lucky to be able to do that within our organisation.”
Ranei says the cadetship is a great partnership with Partners Porirua.
“We’re hoping to run the cadetship again if we can get more funding. You can just see the value, it’s really something quite special that we’ve been able to have them here and watch them develop and know that we’ve set them up to make choices going forward.”
Hineora and Sieni with their workplace mentor Ariana Rangi (left).