High demand for health care assistants
Although over 30,000 people work as health care assistants, vacancies are common due to:
- a large and growing number of elderly people who need support that allows them to stay in their own home
- the increasing need for health care assistants in hospitals due to a shortage of registered nurses
- the ageing workforce – most health care assistants are between 55 and 64.
According to the Census, 33,513 health care assistants worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Ageing population increases demand for workers
The following roles appear on the Government's Care Workforce Work to Residence Visa: Kaiawhina (Hauora) Māori Health Care Assistant, Disabilities Services Officer, Residential Care Officer, Aged or Disabled Carer, Nursing Support Worker, Personal Care Assistant, Therapy Aide, and Child or Youth Residential Care Assistant. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled care workers in those roles from overseas to work in New Zealand.
Types of employers varied
Most health care assistants work for:
- Te Whatu Ora and nursing homes
- private companies providing home care
- specialist care providers – for spinal injury patients, for example
- church and welfare-based trusts
- home support services run by district health boards.