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We will keep these FAQ’s updated throughout the consultation period.  If a question is missing, please ask us at Vocationaleducation.Reform@education.govt.nz.  

 

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Why have you extended the deadline for submissions?

The attacks in Christchurch on 15 March 2019 have had a huge impact on New Zealanders, and particularly the Muslim community. Out of respect for this, and in acknowledgement that many people’s thoughts are on other things at this point, the Minister of Education has extended the deadline for submissions on the Reform of Vocational Education proposals. It is appropriate to give people more time to think about the proposals in these extraordinary circumstances.

 

What is the effect of the reforms on ITP employees?

If the proposal for the creation of a New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology goes ahead, staff at ITPs would become the staff of a new, national institution. There would be a plan for transferring to the new institution that would involve work with the Tertiary Education Union, the Tertiary Institutes Allied Staff Association and other relevant unions.  If you’re a member of staff at an ITP, we recognise that all of these changes would have a significant impact on you, and that times of change can create anxiety. It is really important that changes are managed in such a way that both teachers and learners continue to provide and receive high quality education and training. We will ensure that our processes include robust and proactive support for staff whose jobs may be impacted by change. We want to work with anyone who may be affected by the final, confirmed changes to help them transition. We want to provide retraining and redeployment opportunities where someone’s role has been changed or has disappeared.

 

What is the effect of the reforms on ITO employees?

If the proposed reforms go ahead, the responsibilities of ITOs would be divided between Industry Skills Bodies and providers. Government would need to work with ITOs to develop a transition plan, which would provide more certainty about the roles of ITO employees. ITOs will be well-placed to seek recognition as Industry Skills Bodies, and some staff would continue with the ITO as it becomes an ISB. ITO staff also hold the skills and experience to help providers develop effective services to employers.

 

Where the document mentions ‘providers’ should we assume that providers may be both ITP(s) and PTEs? Or does it generally mean ITP(s)? 

In the consultation documents the word ‘provider’ is a term used to describe ITPs, PTEs and Wananga. 

 

How do these proposed reforms envisage teacher education, currently delivered across a range of technical institutes, would be impacted. The reform draft seems to be largely focused on trades for industry, field-based approaches?

Most teacher education is at degree level, and is overseen by the Education Council. These arrangements would not be affected by the creation of Industry Skills Bodies. The creation of the NZIST would affect teacher education currently provided by ITPs, although the aim of the reforms is to expand delivery. The proposals are designed to expand vocational education so that every learner has more, and better, choices in accessing quality vocational programmes and teaching where they live and work.

 

How will degrees be managed with the merger of polytechnics, in light of various accrediting bodies, including NZQA, Nurses Association, etc.?

While degree programmes are not being considered within the scope of the vocational education reform programme, the changes proposed will have implications given the proposed creation of a New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology (the Institute). However, we are working through how a single entity might work with accreditation bodies. This includes the role of regional and local campuses and the main office of the proposed Institute. 

You can find some more information on our proposals on our website here. We welcome your thoughts on how this could work, and how you think engagement would best work for an organisation such as yours. We would encourage you to feed back on how you believe we could ensure that degrees could be managed should the proposals go ahead.

 

What will be the impact on Government Training Establishments?

GTEs, like PTEs, will be affected by some of the proposed changes. For example, GTEs may need to make sure that the qualifications and courses they offer meet the standards set by Industry Skills Bodies. Some of the other ways GTEs could be affected by the proposed changes can be found in the fact sheet for PTEs.  

Should you require further information, we encourage you to engage with one of the various stakeholder meetings being held in March 2019. Details of these can be found here.

 

Who will support/guide apprentices and undertake assessments? 

Under the proposals, providers will take on the role of arranging workplace-based training, including for apprentices. Industry Skills Bodies will moderate assessments. You may wish to look at this factsheetwhich discusses what the Proposals mean for ITOs.

The ITOs’ current role of supporting workplace learning and assessment for work-based vocational education would be transferred to vocational education providers. Providers would therefore become responsible for delivering and supporting all vocational education and training, whether it took place at a provider’s facilities on campus or in a workplace.

 

Will we be eligible to receive government funding for a pre-vocational training programme?

Foundation learning is not within the scope of the Reform of Vocational Eduation, and funding for foundation level education will continue. Therefore, to receive funding directly from the Tertiary Education Commission for delivering vocational programmes at the foundation level, organisations will (as they do now) need to be registered as a provider with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. TEC-funded programmes also have to be approved by the NZQA. 

 

Will we be eligible to receive government funding for micro-credentials to upskill current industry workers?

The Tertiary Education Commission recently published guidance on when they will fund micro-credentials, you can fid more information here.  

 

What degree of input and/or control will employers have in relation to training programmes/apprenticeships?  

Employers would continue to make decisions about workplace training in the same way that they do now, but would partner with a provider rather than an industry training organisation for day-to-day training and apprenticeship needs. This would also mean that they have a choice of which provider they partner with – the proposed New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology, or a wānanga or private training establishment. In addition to this, industry as a whole would have more influence over vocational education through Industry Skills Bodies, which would set the qualifications for the whole of vocational education, as well as approving the programmes that providers develop, and advising TEC on investment decisions. Government is also seeking views on whether the Industry Skills Bodies should provide services direct to employers, such as brokerage and needs assessments, or whether this should be the responsibility of providers.

 

Is this proposal about creating one giant polytechnic that draws resources and students from the current Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs)?

The vocational education proposals include the establishment of the NZ Institute of Skills & Technology (a working title). This would potentially involve centralisation of some aspects of the 16 separate ITPs, but it would not take away their role in education delivery. The new Institute would build on the current relationships, skills and unique identities of our current national network of ITPs. The vocational education system would enable more and better regional delivery in a sustainable way across all of New Zealand.  In the proposals, the individual ITPs remain important regional education centres. Through the consultation process, the government wants to explore how we make can ensure a strong regional focus is present in any new system, and be sure that regional communities are better connected to their local vocational education providers. The Minister has identified this as one of the most important questions in this whole process.

 

How will central and regional decision making actually work?

As we are working through the consultation process, we want to hear thoughts from stakeholders - particularly the ITP sector - on what would work best. Part of this consultation is better understanding the level of regional autonomy required to ensure both accountability and responsiveness. As decisions on this haven't been made, we strongly encourage you to provide your thoughts in writing, or through a public event, for consideration.

 

Are ITPs going to stop delivering degrees?

No. Degrees are outside the scope of the Reform of Vocational Education. If the proposals go ahead, it is expected that the New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology would continue to deliver at degree level, and we note its significance to the ITP sector. 

 

Will any distance delivery not currently done by the Open Polytechnic be scrapped?

No. In our consultation document, we ask the question of whether we should utilise the systems and processes established by the Open Polytechnic - the ITP that offers the largest amount of distance delivery currently. We are asking stakeholders to feed back to us whether this system, or another system, would be best. Additionally, we would also look across all current ITP distance delivery to better understand what is on offer before making any decisions about potential future delivery. 

 

Will my ITP lose its name and brand?

Not necessarily. We want to hear from you what is important. Some regions are rightfully proud of the name and brand of their local polytechnic. How we can enable some regional focus in branding is one of the key factors we are considering through consultation.

 

Would a New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology be based in Wellington? 

Bringing together our polytechnic and institute of technology campuses under a single institution does not necessarily mean the parent body would be based in Wellington. A New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology could well be based in a regional location. Nor would all its staff necessarily be in the same geographic location – a geographically distributed group of staff can operate as a virtual team nationwide, and still be “centralised” in functional terms because they are acting as a single team. We are specifically asking through the consultation: ‘Who should decide what centralisation happens and to where – the Government, or the new Institute itself?’ 

 

Many of the services currently provided by ITOs relate to supporting employers to engage with industry training (e.g. skills needs analysis, assisting employers to identify staff who would benefit most from training or in recruiting apprentices, assisting the firm to integrate industry training in internal training systems, etc.).  Who would perform this role if the Government’s proposals are adopted? 

The proposals, as stated, would see an important expansion of the role of vocational education providers in delivering industry training and supporting learners and employers in the workplace. The consultation document also asks about who is best placed to undertake brokerage and advisory services for employers. This could be providers, the proposed industry skills bodies, or others.

 

The need for change

Why are you proposing such significant changes to vocational education and the ITP sector?

Our current vocational education system is poorly positioned to deliver on our future needs. At a global and New Zealand level, the future of work will look considerably different to today. We have a duty to equip our children and young people to be able to take advantage of the opportunities it will bring, and a duty to people in the workforce now to be able to upskill or retrain to stay employed and productive in a changing world.

Education is key to New Zealanders and our workforce being resilient and ready for the challenges and changes to the way we work. It will also bring challenges for our working population. The 2018 Future of Jobs report by the World Economic Forum states that 54% of the global workforce will need to upskill or retrain by 2022.

We need to transform our vocational education and training sector to be ready to take advantage of the demand that will trigger. According to the OECD Economic Survey 2017, automation will continue to change the nature of work in New Zealand, with around a third of current jobs likely to be significantly affected by automation, and one in 10 likely to be almost fully automated in the near future. As these jobs change, other new jobs are likely to emerge.

Workforce change is already starting to happen. We have a precious window of opportunity to plan ahead to grab the opportunities it will bring – but that window is closing fast. We all need to work and plan together – Government, industry representatives, employers, workers, iwi, communities and whānau - to make sure New Zealand and New Zealanders are ready.

The design of the current system makes this hard to achieve. Many industries are increasingly frustrated at their inability to manage their pipeline of skilled workers. Not all learners are getting the educational and employment outcomes they want and deserve. The system is overly complex, making it hard for first-time learners, particularly Māori and Pacific people, to achieve good outcomes from vocational education.

There is an unhealthy tension between ITOs and vocational education providers (ITPs, wānanga, and private training establishments (PTEs)). The emphasis is on competition rather than collaboration in the interests of New Zealand and of learners. Despite the best efforts of many vocational education professionals and organisations, structural features of the current system drive competition rather than collaboration to deliver the best outcomes for learners and employers.

If we stick with the current system, most ITPs will come under increasing financial stress due to declining enrolments, high fixed costs, and funding that does not reflect their cost structures. At present, four of our 16 ITPs face an extremely high risk of financial problems and four others face an elevated financial risk. Only four are considered to be low risk. 

In response, the Government proposes fundamental reforms to create a sustainable, nationally and regionally networked vocational education system. An integrated system will better meet the needs of learners and employers and link provider-based and work-based training. The proposed changes will position the vocational education system to deliver for the future.

The Government wants to create a vocational education system that delivers more for our regions, so that every learner has more, and better, choices in accessing quality vocational programmes and teaching where they live and work. 

The proposals would improve and extend regional access and responsiveness. Making the system more efficient, faster, and more flexible, as well as more embedded in regional labour markets, will mean better service for our regions. The Government’s proposals are ambitious and necessary. The Government believes the proposals will result in a significantly improved vocational education system that is both sustainable and fit for the Future of Work. 

Vocational education in New Zealand is at a crossroads. The change proposals are an interlinked and interdependent package that collectively will result in a more streamlined and efficient system of vocational education and training to meet the needs of New Zealanders. The risks of not acting are significant. We need to accept that disruption now will strengthen the vocational education system for the long term.

 

Structure of the vocational education sector

Why are you proposing to create a single ITP?

Creating a New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology will strengthen the consistency, overall quality and availability of vocational education and training for students across the country.

It will also address significant and long-standing issues in the ITP sector. These include financial vulnerability, weak governance and management capability in parts of the sector, and a lack of strategic coordination of public investment in assets across the ITP network.

A New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology would create a single legal entity to serve New Zealand’s regions and strengthen consistency and availability of provision of vocational education across the country. It would offer high-quality vocational education throughout New Zealand, transforming the current regional network of 16 ITPs into regional campuses of the new nationwide institute.

The Institute would address the ITP sector’s current financial issues and would form a distributed network serving and balancing national and regional interests. A coherent set of nationally-delivered programmes would make it easier for both learners and employers to gain access to the education and skills they need.

This new Institute would offer work-based as well as off-job learning, with the expectation over time that more delivery could resemble apprenticeships, where the learner, provider and employer collaborate to support a learner to combine training with work.

The size and scale of the new Institute would allow greater and faster improvements to provision nationwide. Instead of each campus being limited by what it can afford to deliver, it could leverage the resources of the whole Institute with a combination of face-to-face, online and blended learning. In addition the New Zealand Institute would reduce the cost to taxpayers of paying for very similar back-office capability multiple times nationwide.

The net result will be that local communities and regions have more choice, and – thanks to the combined efforts of the New Zealand Institute and of Industry Skills Bodies – more confidence that the skills vocational learners develop are the skills that the workforce needs. (See the Reform of Vocational Education Consultation Discussion Document pp 20-21 for details of the role of the proposed Industry Skills Bodies).

 

Would there still be regional ITP campuses after this process is finished?

Yes. The Government is committed to providing access to high quality tertiary education and lifelong learning for all New Zealanders, so that every learner has more, and better, choices in accessing quality vocational programmes and teaching where they live and work. The proposed changes would, in fact, expand the regional focus of vocational education in New Zealand.

New Zealand needs a strong and resilient ITP sector that sustainably delivers high quality vocational education and training in every region in New Zealand. ITPs are vital in preparing young people for work as well as supporting adults to retrain in a rapidly changing economy. They also provide a significant contribution to their local economies and communities.

The Government’s vision is to fundamentally reform vocational education into a strong, unified system that delivers what employers and learners need, a system where providers and industry collaborate to get the best outcomes for learners, employers, communities and regions, and thriving regions are supported by a national network of sustainable public campuses.

The Government’s proposals would improve and extend regional access and responsiveness. Making the system more efficient, faster, and more flexible, as well as more embedded in regional labour markets, will mean better service for the regions. The proposed Regional Leadership Groups will mean that regional communities, industry, iwi and hapū, local government and others have a strong voice in determining the vocational provision offered in their region.

The proposals are intended to ensure a strong future ITP regional presence in communities nationwide, while removing duplication and inefficiency in programme development and strengthening ties to industry-owned standards and workplace-based learning. They would increase the relevance and coherence of training, ensure learners are equipped with the skills and capabilities industry, iwi and communities need.

 

Why are you proposing to change the roles of providers and ITOs?

New Zealand needs a vocational education system in which industry and providers have strong, distinct and complementary roles.

There is currently an unhealthy tension between ITOs and vocational education providers (ITPs, wānanga, and private training establishments (PTEs)). Despite the best efforts of many vocational education professionals and organisations, including in ITOs, structural features of the current system drive them to compete over funding rather than collaborate to deliver the best outcomes for learners and employers.

These organisations need to be positioned to act collaboratively to develop the skills that people and industries need to flourish. The system needs to draw more strongly on industry expertise in setting expectations, providing leadership, and setting standards; and on provider expertise in delivering education and pastoral care.

To achieve this, the Government proposes to give industry an increased leadership role in vocational education and replace ITOs with Industry Skills Bodies that will focus on:

  • providing skills leadership, coordinating industry efforts to identify and plan to address future skills needs

  • setting skill standards and approving programmes in vocational education across the entire vocational education and training system

  • setting or moderating end-of-study assessments

  • supporting high-quality programmes, core curricula, and teaching and learning resources, working with Centres of Vocational Excellence where appropriate (see the Reform of Vocational Education Consultation Discussion Document pp 25-26 for information about Centres of Vocational Excellence), and

  • advising and guiding the TEC’s priorities for purchasing vocational education.

Employers and industry would have more choice about how they engage with vocational education providers to meet the skill needs of their workforce. Employers would have a choice of education providers to work with, rather than having to arrange on-job training via their ITO.

ITOs’ role of supporting workplace learning and assessment for work-based vocational education would transfer to education providers. TEC would fund directly providers to deliver on-job training support to employers, rather than this being funded via an ITO.

The Government acknowledges that the proposed changes would have an impact on ITOs. However, the risks of not making changes are also significant; disruption now will strengthen the vocational education system for the long term. We will work closely with ITOs to seek their input on designing the new system.

ITOs would have the opportunity to apply to be recognised as Industry Skills Bodies.

 

What other options for change were considered?

A number of options were considered, including merging ITPs into a smaller number of larger ITPs, merging ITPs and universities (with a few exclusions such as the University of Auckland) to create a dual sector model, merging ITPs and ITOs, having a centralised ITP body supporting individual ITPs, and centralising individual programmes in single ITPs.

None of these options offer the benefits of the proposed system, such as the preservation of regional provision of vocational education and training, nor would they go far enough to ensure the ITP sector would be sustainable and part of an integrated vocational education system designed for a changing world. They also come with their own high costs of change.

 

Would the proposed changes to vocational education and training be affected by other reviews, e.g. Tomorrow’s Schools or the review of NCEA?

Opportunities like this to consider the whole picture from primary school through to work are rare, and we wish to create a system that will deliver for our future needs.

This is a once in a generation opportunity to align support for coordination and improved skills planning at a regional level across government initiatives. The Minister of Immigration has progressed proposals to introduce regional mechanisms to support skills planning and facilitation. The Tomorrow’s Schools proposals might also offer an opportunity for regional alignment across the education and skills systems.

As the education, immigration and other proposals progress, agencies will be expected to work together to ensure this work is aligned. When we put learners at the heart of the system and consider the journey they take through school, into tertiary education or training and then the workplace, our initiatives naturally create a coherent whole.

There are opportunities across the Education Work Programme to reposition vocational education as a valued pathway for learners. The proposed changes, in concert with the review of NCEA, improvements to careers education and guidance, and the development of a School Leavers’ Toolkit, would support learners to achieve in vocational education and find sustainable employment.

A strengthened vocational education system would also be supported through ongoing tertiary Fees Free settings, the Tertiary Education Strategy, the International Education Strategy and the review of NZQA.

 

Funding

Why are you changing funding for vocational education?

A unified funding system is needed to replace our current different funding systems driving apart providers and industry, when they need to work together.

The proposed changes would establish a unified funding system for vocational education. They would remove barriers to collaboration and flexibility, ensure a sustainable network of provision, and support wider reform. Funding should be flexible and responsive to an evolving economy.

Creating a unified funding system would ensure learners get the skills, experience and support they need to be successful, providers have the funding they need to be sustainable and to support our regions, and Industry Skills Bodies can fulfil their roles.

The funding system should support more work-integrated learning that resembles apprenticeships: combining provider- and workplace-based learning to best meet the needs of learners and employers, and provide the agility and flexibility needed for the Future of Work.

 

Consultation process

How can I have my say on this?

The Government is interested in feedback from all perspectives: learners, employers, industry and Industry Training Organisations, providers, Māori, iwi, Pacific people, people with disabilities or learning difficulties, parents, other interested groups and the general public. An online feedback tool will soon be available to ensure that groups and individuals can add their contribution to this important discussion.

A detailed consultation document has been prepared to explain the proposed changes. This is available here.

A schedule of public meetings to be held around the country, including some aimed at, but not restricted to, specific audiences like Māori, is available on the Have your say page.

The formal public consultation period will run until 5 April 2019.

Agencies are also engaging directly with key vocational education and training stakeholders on the proposed changes, especially on those required to be in place in 2020. This includes education providers (including wānanga), ITOs, Māori, Pacific people, unions, employers, industry, and learners.

Agencies will also ensure that learners with disabilities and additional learning needs are included in the consultation.

The Government’s proposals are also informed by information and ideas offered by learners, educators, parents, employers, iwi, Pacific people and community members across the country through the national Education Conversation, Kōrero Mātauranga.

We’ll carefully consider what we’ve heard in engagement meetings, along with the feedback that is sent in to the consultation survey, email address and phone line. The Minister and Cabinet will receive a summary of all the feedback and it will inform their decisions. You can expect to hear about these decisions around mid-2019. We’ll also continue to draw on feedback and ask for more conversations as we work through how to implement the Government’s decisions.

 

How much say will the sector have in the design of the new system?

The TEC began working with the ITP sector and the wider community in early 2018 to identify options for structural change to ITPs, with the goal of making the sector more sustainable and agile while retaining and building on the sector’s key strengths in regional vocational delivery.

The TEC met with all 16 ITPs in 2018 while consulting on the ITP Roadmap 2020 project. It talked to staff, students, local government, the community and other interested parties about what they think will make the sector sustainable. It also set up working groups to exchange knowledge and created online surveys so more people could contribute to the conversation about the future of ITPs.

At the same time, the Ministry of Education led a review of vocational education to identify policy issues needing attention both at ITPs and in the wider vocational system.

The TEC and the Ministry will continue to engage with vocational education and training stakeholders on the proposed changes, especially on those required to be in place in 2020. This includes education providers, including wānanga, ITOs, unions, employers, industry, learners, Māori, Pacific people, and people with disabilities or learning difficulties.

Engagement will draw together experts from each part of the sector. This will be managed through representative bodies, including peak bodies and unions.

There will be engagement with ITOs and education providers, including wānanga, on how changes in organisational roles affect learners to ensure there is no disruption to their studies.

We’ll carefully consider what we’ve heard in engagement meetings, along with the feedback that is sent in to the consultation survey, email address and phone line. The Minister and Cabinet will receive a summary of all the feedback and it will inform their decisions.

You can expect to hear about these decisions around mid-2019. We’ll also continue to draw on feedback and ask for more conversations as we work through how to implement the Government’s decisions.

 

Learners

What does this mean for my study plans for 2019 and 2020?

For now, these proposals won’t change anything for learners; downstream, there would be a whole lot of improvements in their learning experience. Learners are encouraged to enrol in ITPs as they normally would in 2019, including in multi-year programmes. Existing courses and qualifications are continuing.

We will work closely with education providers and ITOs to smooth the transition to the new system and minimise the impact on learners.

The Government’s proposed changes are intended to allow learners to study for qualifications delivered consistently all over New Zealand, with greater assurance that they meet industry-approved standards, and with better quality teaching and learning support.

The Government wants to create a sustainable, nationally and regionally networked vocational education system. This integrated system could better meet the needs of learners and employers and link provider-based and work-based training.

The proposed changes would expand the regional focus of vocational education in New Zealand and make regional ITPs more secure.

For more information, see the Learners factsheet.

 

What does this mean for international students?

New Zealand continues to offer high quality vocational education and training for international students that delivers work-ready graduates. As with domestic students, international students are encouraged to enrol in ITPs in 2019 as they normally would, including in multi-year programmes. Existing courses and qualifications are continuing.

International students’ visa status will not change, and all New Zealand qualifications will continue to be recognised internationally. Prospective students overseas should continue to apply to study at New Zealand vocational education providers with an assurance that the high quality of provision and range of courses currently on offer will continue.

Agencies will be updating overseas stakeholders so they are aware that it’s business as usual in New Zealand.

The Government sees a strong future for international education and is committed to attracting and supporting genuine international students seeking a quality education and offering skills that New Zealand needs. The Government’s proposed changes to vocational education are primarily structural and will produce a better system for students.

The proposals are intended to allow learners, including international students, to study for qualifications delivered consistently all over New Zealand, with greater assurance that they meet industry-approved standards, and with better quality teaching and learning support.

The Government also wants to ensure New Zealand vocational education continues to be globally relevant as the nature of work and the skills required in the workplace change.

A more co-ordinated vocational education system would also be better able to maximise opportunities for New Zealand providers to deliver services in other countries.

For more information, see the International education factsheet.

 

What are the implications for Māori? How are their interests being looked after?

Not all learners across the vocational education system are getting the employment and educational outcomes they deserve. This includes Māori learners. The Government would expect the proposed New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology to be focused on delivering high-quality and relevant services to Māori, as individuals, whānau and iwi. The Institute would be governed by a charter, set out in the legislation, in which the Government would express this expectation clearly.

The proposed new system would present opportunities for wānanga to expand their delivery in the workplace, if they choose to.

The proposals consider the unique contribution that Māori can make towards our vocational education model. We consider it important that iwi and Māori have the opportunity to be represented on Regional Leadership Groups to influence the behaviour and offerings of their local campuses of the New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology. However, the Treaty partnership is and will remain with the Crown – so Māori also need ongoing opportunities to participate in vocational education policy and operational decision-making with central government.

Targeted engagement on the proposed changes will be undertaken with Māori, iwi and wānanga. Some Māori and iwi groups and individuals were consulted in 2018 as part of the TEC’s ITP Roadmap 2020 work and the Ministry of Education’s vocational education and training system review.

There will be six dedicated hui for iwi and Māori stakeholders, in Northland, Auckland, Gisborne, Rotorua, Wellington and Christchurch, as well as iwi and Māori engagement in each region via the regional workshops and visits to ITPs.

For more information, see the:

 

What are the implications for Pacific people? How are their interests being looked after?

Pacific learners are among those across the vocational education system who are not getting the employment and educational outcomes they deserve.

During 2018, officials from the Ministry of Education and the TEC visited sites all over New Zealand and met with stakeholders from a range of organisations and communities, including holding fono with Pacific stakeholders. Targeted consultation on the proposed changes will be undertaken with Pacific communities, with two dedicated fono in South Auckland and Porirua.

For more information, see the Pacific factsheet

 

How are the interests of those with disabilities or learning support needs being looked after?

Disabled people and people with additional learning support needs are under-served by the vocational education system and have significantly poorer employment outcomes than the general population.

Disabled people and people with additional learning support needs should have the same opportunities as their peers to enter the vocational education system, gain qualifications, and follow their dreams and aspirations.

We want more disabled people and people with additional learning support needs to access the vocational education system and gain relevant qualifications. We need to support disabled people and people with additional learning support needs to transition into vocational education, particularly from secondary school and foundation education.

The changes proposed to vocational education would mean that providers give more support to all learners. A strengthened relationship between providers and employers would give all learners the confidence that they are developing the right skills to be successful in the workplace.

The Government proposes to bring existing ITPs together into a single New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology. The reform would consider how the new Institute could increase the number of disabled people and people with additional learning needs enrolled in vocational education and support them to transition to employment.

Agencies plan to work with ITPs and through their connections ensure that learners with disabilities and additional learning needs are included in the consultation.

For more information, see the Learners with disabilities factsheet.

 

How much say will learners have in the design of the new system?

The Government is committed to providing access to high quality tertiary education and lifelong learning for all New Zealanders. The Government’s vision is to fundamentally reform vocational education into a strong, unified system that delivers what learners and employers need, a system where providers and industry collaborate to get the best outcomes for learners, employers, communities and regions, and thriving regions are supported by a national network of sustainable public campuses.

Agencies sought learners’ views on vocational education and training and the ITP sector in 2018 as part of wider discussions with the sector, industry, employers and the community. We will specifically seek learners’ input on the proposed changes, including through face-to-face meetings and our online survey.

We will also seek input from specific groups of learners who are not getting the employment and educational outcomes they deserve – Māori, Pacific learners and those with disabilities.

We will work closely with education providers and ITOs to smooth the transition to the new system and minimise the impact on learners.

For now, the proposals will not change anything for learners; downstream, there would be a whole lot of improvements in their learning experience.

 

Employers and industry

How much say will employers and industry have in the design of the new system?

Agencies began working with employers and industry to discuss their views on vocational education and training and the ITP sector in 2018. The proposed changes respond to the concerns raised through these discussions. We will work with industry, employers and ITOs to design the details of the new system and manage the transition to minimise the impact on learners and staff. We will also phase in the changes to support this transition effort.

The Government’s vision is to fundamentally reform vocational education into a strong, unified system that delivers what employers and learners need now and in the fast-changing world of work in the future. The proposed changes would put industry where it belongs, giving it a central role ensuring that vocational education delivers the skills that New Zealand needs.

New Zealand also needs a system in which industry and providers have strong, distinct and complementary roles. The system needs to draw more strongly both on industry expertise in setting expectations, providing leadership, and setting standards, and on provider expertise in delivering education and pastoral care.
Providers and industry should collaborate to get the best outcomes for learners, employers, communities and regions.

There is currently an unhealthy tension between ITOs and vocational education providers (ITPs, wānanga, and private training establishments (PTEs)). Despite the best efforts of many vocational education professionals and organisations, including in ITOs, structural features of the current system drive them to compete over funding rather than collaborate to deliver the best outcomes for learners and employers.

The Government proposes to give industry an increased leadership role in vocational education and replace ITOs with industry skills bodies that will, among other things, focus on skills leadership and coordinating industry efforts to plan for future skills needs, and setting standards and approving qualifications. 

The proposed funding system would work better for employers by uniting provider-based and workplace-based learning rather than keep them artificially separate as happens now.

 

Videos

Minister Hipkins discusses the proposed changes and what this means for learners during 2019 and 2020.

Minister Hipkins' update to Maori learners

Minister Hipkins’ update to Domestic learners

Minister Hipkins’ update to International learners

Minister Hipkins' update to ITOs