Politics & Policies

A Unified VE System in NZ – Putting industry in charge and ensuring regional skills needs are met

To have effective vocational education, industry needs a say in what providers teach so that on-campus and online students learn the skills they need to be ready for the world of work.

Around four to seven industry-governed Workforce Development Councils will be set up from 2020 onwards to give industry greater leadership across vocational education. We’ll work with industry to decide how industry coverage will be grouped together, but it might look something like:

1. Construction and Infrastructure
2. Manufacturing and Technology
3. Primary Industries
4. Services Industries
5. Social and Community Services
6. Creative Industries

The Workforce Development Councils will get to decide whether programmes are fit for purpose, whether they are on-the-job programmes (like an apprenticeship), taught on-campus or online by a provider, or a combination of these three. Unless a programme has the Workforce Development Council’s confidence – effectively, industry’s confidence –
it won’t be approved and won’t be funded. They will also provide advice to the Tertiary Education Commission on its funding decisions more generally and will get to determine the mix of training in their industries.

Workforce Development Councils will also have the power to require programmes of study to have a ‘capstone assessment’. This is an external assessment, overseen by the Workforce Development Council, so that everyone can be sure that quali cation-holders in that area meet a standard that is acceptable to industry.

Workforce Development Councils will provide skills leadership for their industry and, like today’s Industry Training Organisations, they will sometimes provide employers with brokerage and advisory services. But, given their powerful oversight role, they won’t be directly involved in running apprenticeship and other on-the-job training. Instead, we’ll be bringing on-the-job and o -the-job training closer together (see change #5 below).

Ensure regional skills needs are met

Every region of New Zealand has di erent needs. Ensuring that the workforce is in place to meet these needs requires coordination across a number of regional participants.
Regional Skills Leadership Groups will facilitate dialogue about regional labour market needs that builds coordinated decision-making at a regional level to encourage businesses, training providers and other local actors to work together towards a high-skills labour market.

RSLGs will provide advice about the skills needs of their regions to the TEC, WDCs and local vocational education providers. TEC will be required to take their advice into account when making investment decisions.

RSLGs will work across education, immigration and welfare systems to help deliver on regional economic development strategies that work for everyone. More detail will be available in a separate publication.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at A unified system for all vocational education: reform of vocational education

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