Recently there have been discussions around whether TIs/new PGY1s should be offered employment in December, rather than waiting until the start of the new RMO year in January 2023. This was posed as a way to assist with the current workforce challenges and to fill current vacancies this side of Christmas.
Looking back at our time starting as new PGY1s, as the STONZ Executive team, we have advocated that the first few months of a RMOs career needs to be well supported and that RMOs should receive the assistance and backing they need in order to set them up for a long and sustainable career. More often than not, and from our own experiences, we hear from members that the transition from graduate to full time RMO is daunting, and often at the same time as having to move cities, finding somewhere to live and settling in is a huge challenge. Having a break between graduation and starting work in our view is a preferable, giving time to organise and settle before starting their new positions.
The change to the RMO year was supported to allow new graduates to have a break before starting full-time employment, the decreased availability of supervision over the holiday period including sufficient orientations, and the lack of practicality for current RMOs already working to move around the country and start a new job just prior to Christmas, as well as aligning better with school year changes for those RMOs with families.
When this was raised recently as an option for helping to manage current vacancies, STONZ was concerned that districts across Aotearoa may struggle with implementation plans, appropriate supervision and whether the required orientations would be able to occur, to ensure anyone starting was well supported. We also thought that while not a requirement from the employer’s perspective, students should have also been given an opportunity to provide feedback. The response back from Te Whatu Ora is that they were not able to support this nationally, so the current start to the RMO year will remain January 2023.
Whilst we absolutely recognise the impact of the current vacancies, and the need for both short and long-term solutions, we also recognise that there are other things that need to be considered and that there may be unintended consequences if done too quickly. We understand that Te Whatu Ora, if approached by new graduates wanting to start work early, will consider the request as long as they can offer a position which provides the appropriate level of support and orientation. However, dependent on the district and the specialty, the ability to do this may be variable.
If you are a new graduate thinking of starting employment early, then the first step is to contact the district in which you were due to start with in January, and we would also encourage you to get in touch with our support team who can help you navigate the employment process and answer any questions you may have.
Any questions? Support@stonz.co.nz