What is the MH&A International Recruitment Pilot
In October 2022, Te Whatu Ora established the International Recruitment Centre to attract highly skilled, culturally competent overseas health professionals to Aotearoa.
Initially the focus has been on roles directly with Te Whatu Ora. The long-term intention is to provide access to NGOs and community healthcare providers so the whole health and disability system can use and benefit from the service.
We’re trialling how our Te Whatu Ora International Recruitment Centre can be extended to meet the needs of the whole health and disability system. We’re starting by piloting our approach with the mental health and addictions sector – a priority workforce to grow.
This initiative is part of the Health Workforce Plan 2023/24 to bolster priority workforce groups. It focuses on immediate actions to improve workforces under strain, particularly in the community, while we invest in more sustainable pathways.
Lessons from the pilot will inform what is needed to extend the International Recruitment Centre to the whole health and disability sector.
Get support to recruit from overseas
Mental health and addiction NGO and community providers can now access free resources and support to recruit people from overseas. Providers must be publicly funded through Vote Health.
The current services available include:
- Free advertising of vacancies on Kiwi Health Jobs (our job board for all of health)
- The benefits of the international “Make a difference somewhere different” campaign
- Advice for becoming an Immigration New Zealand accredited employer to recruit people from overseas
- Access to immigration advice for employers and tailored visa support for candidates
- A dedicated recruitment consultant and registration support for candidates
- Cultural competency support
How to get involved
To access international recruitment support for the mental health and addictions sector or for any questions, contact the Mental Health and Addictions International Recruitment Pilot team.
Please also contact us if you’d like to be kept up to date with this work.
Why we’re recruiting from overseas
We need more people in our health workforce to deliver better health outcomes. The mental health and addictions sector is no exception.
Our priority is to grow our health workforce, including with Māori and Pacific people. This takes time.
While we grow and train our people in Aotearoa, we can fill vacancies now with experienced and culturally competent health professionals from overseas. In addition, when people finish their training, they’ll benefit from the support and experience of overseas recruits.
Key opportunities for the pilot include:
- increasing the mental health and addictions workforce to deliver better services and health outcomes
- supporting NGOs and community providers to recruit experienced health professionals from overseas
- enabling visibility of MH&A vacancies across the sector to help inform workforce policy, investment, and planning
- developing and working toward a whole-of-system approach to international recruitment.
What's happening now
Our international recruitment services for mental health NGO and community providers are underway. The mental health and addiction sector and vacancies will be more visible on the Kiwi Health Jobs and Make a difference somewhere different websites.
We’re working with employers already accredited with Immigration New Zealand to advertise vacancies. We’re also talking with employers wanting to get accreditation.
Candidates with mental health and addiction experience who expressed interest through the International Recruitment Centre (outside of this pilot) are being matched to roles.
We’re considering processes and identifying potential changes to the model for the mental health and addiction sector. We’ll reach out to the sector to co-design and consult the international recruitment approach over the coming weeks.
A range of informative webinars for employers are underway. NGO and community providers of mental health services will be invited. If you’re interested and have not heard from us, please email the Mental Health and Addictions International Recruitment Pilot team for more information.
We’re planning campaigns to run to attract international mental health and addiction professionals.
Resources for the whole health and disability system
There are international recruitment resources available for the whole health and disability system.
The International Recruitment Centre has information and tools developed in partnership with Te Aka Whai Ora and Immigration New Zealand. They include:
- Our ethical recruitment principles
- Information you can pass onto candidates, such as cultural competency training
- Recruitment resources for employers who are already accredited with Immigration New Zealand
- How to get accredited to recruit internationally with Immigration New Zealand
- Other Immigration New Zealand information
All health organisations will find these resources useful when recruiting people from overseas.
International Recruitment Centre (IRC)
International Recruitment Campaign
Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) processes
Nursing information and resources to support Internationally Qualified Nurses (IQNs)
- NZ nurses return to practice or for IQNs working as Health Care Assistants/Support Workers based in NZ
- Returning to practice (nursingcouncil.org.nz)
- Support for IQNs required to do a Competence Assessment Programme to gain NZ registration