2018 Apprentice Days
15 February 2018 – Hamilton
16 February 2018 – Auckland
Apprentice Days are held biennially in each region to give ATNZ apprentices the opportunity to get together, strengthen networks and share experiences. It’s an important opportunity for the ATNZ team to raise health and safety issues and deepen the apprentices’ understanding of the importance of following health and safety procedures. Mental wellness is an important part of it.
In 2018, we continued with our focus on mental health. With New Zealand having the highest youth suicide rate in the world and the majority of our ATNZ apprentices fitting the profile of the most at-risk group, young men aged 20 to 24, we have a moral responsibility to support them.
This year, we continued to partner with prominent mental health educator Mike King and his charity ‘Key to Life’ to encourage our apprentices to show strength by speaking up about mental health issues. His presentation focuses on how he overcame drug and alcohol addiction, and his continued battle against
depression. His two presentations in Auckland and Hamilton were youth-focused and engaging, and they encouraged people to speak up about mental health.
Employee assistance programme
ATNZ continued to offer an employee assistance programme with our new provider, OCP. We include OCP services and general mental wellness in our health and safety induction when new apprentices come on board. Our account managers regularly talk about mental wellness with our apprentices as part of their monthly visits and health and safety toolbox talks.
We also analyse regular OCP reports and share the trends with our account managers to encourage wider awareness and uptake by our apprentices.
We regularly look for ways to promote OCP and talk to our account managers regarding the importance of apprentices feeling like they can speak up within ATNZ, and that it is a real strength to speak up during hard times. In March 2018, we ran a psychological first aid course for our account managers to equip them with the skills to champion mental wellbeing and welfare of the apprentices, and to look after their own.