Women re-entering the workforce have found the pathway at Horizons Education.

The support workers course started in the middle of the lockdown.

Ruth Hemi is now 61 and spoke about how difficult it was to get a job, despite her skills of working in an office, in retail, and running the Petone Railway Station for 10 years.

She said she applied for many jobs, but was disappointed at the lack of courtesy to acknowledge her application.


However, Ruth is pleased for the opportunity to join the course.

"I love people, everyone has got a story," Ruth said, in reference to her placement at Alexander House in Feilding.

Ruth is 13 weeks into placement until the end of July.

Horizons Education founder/director Jenni Masters says course participants are more likely to be offered employment at the end.

Mikayla Upchurch, 21, is in her placement at Karaka House where she says she is building a good rapport with the residents.

Mikayla worked as a barista before she joined the course, but now she is following her passion.

She waxed lyrical about the course tutor, Verity Murphy.

"Verity is amazing. She has so much knowledge and goes above and beyond to help us."


Kaylynn Crawley returned from Australia and was visiting the organisation to say hello.

She is working at St Dominics and finds the work rewarding.

"Two years ago I brought my boys home from Australia, did the course, got a job and a house."

Kaylynn credits Verity's understanding and help that made her transition to settle easier.

Horizons Education delivers their 13 week programme three times a year to a total of 46 students.

"The students - all Work and Income clients - are carefully selected and the purpose is to provide our students with a qualification and practical experience (in the form of clinical placements)," says Jenni.

"The aim is they will come off benefits and gain employment as support workers (essential workers) in our local residential care facilities and other care facilities in the area."

Jenni said the programme is based around and leads to the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 2).

+Horizons Education's next intake for the support workers course begins on August 10. Anyone who is keen to be considered for the programme can phone Jenni or Verity on 06 357 0138, or message through the contact page on horizoneducation.co.nz

+Horizons Education are selecting now for a 6-week, part-time domestic assistants programme leading to work in the kitchen, cleaning or laundry areas of residential facilities. HE welcomes inquiries from Work and Income clients for the course.