August eNEWS

A note from the CE

Kia ora koutou, 

The next time you receive an edition of eNews, it will be from the Connexis-branded business division within Te Pūkenga’s work-based learning subsidiary, with me as Director. This sounds like a big transition, but in reality, there will be no change to our services and qualifications, and we will continue to offer the same programmes and assessment. Support for you as employers, and your trainees, will carry on as normal, and you will be working with the same Connexis team members.

Our shift into Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning Limited (WBL) will take place on 1 September 2021 and will include all of our work in arranging, supporting and assessing work-based learning (apprenticeships, traineeships and micro-credentials). By far the bulk of our staff will transition with the Connexis brand. You can read more about Te Pūkenga here. 

The next stage of transition will be the transfer of our standard setting functions to Waihanga Ara Rau Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council (CIWDC) from 4 October 2021. 

A small number of our standard setting staff have been matched to roles in CIWDC and will move across into this new entity on 4 October. There are other role opportunities within CIWDC that some of our team may choose to apply for, so there may be some movement of staff as we progress into the new system.

Along with focussing on transitioning into the new system, we have been hard at work with our business as usual and managing our business growth. Some highlights include a recap of the seven products released in July, lots of activity in the Women in Trades space, preparations for Annual Connection, and the potential of iJobsite, which currently has 600 registered jobseekers.

We are also preparing to harness the opportunities that will open up to us under the new vocational education system. Two key projects we have been working on are Workforce Development Strategies for Electricity Supply and Three Waters, which will feed into the work of the new CIWDC. We would like to see greater mandating of qualifications within our sectors, and longer-term approaches to meeting skills needs. These are among the issues infrastructure industry players are telling us would help set them up for a sustainable future.

Our organisation is evolving, and we are committed to continue being your trusted industry training partner.

Thanks for being with us on this journey, staying engaged and providing your feedback.

If you have any concerns about the current transition arrangements and activities please contact

Ngā mihi nui,

Kaarin Gaukrodger

Chief Executive 

What's in the August eNews?

Congratulations to Brian Warren for CCNZ Life Membership Award

Connexis Chair Brian Warren’s contribution to civil construction was recognised at the 42nd Civil Contractors New Zealand Hirepool Construction Excellence Awards on 30 July. Brian received a National Life Membership to Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ).

Brian said it is a great honour to be recognised in this way.

“The annual CCNZ Awards showcase the special people and projects that the civil infrastructure industry is all about and to have this award given to me on that night is truly special.”

Read more.

RoVE update

Competenz becomes first TITO to shift into Te Pūkenga   

Competenz became the first Transitional Industry Training Organisation (TITO) to shift into the new system, following the transition of its arranging training functions into Te Pūkenga on 2 August. Its arranging training functions are now a separately branded business division within Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning Limited (WBL), led by Director Amanda Wheeler. 

"This is an historic moment and we look forward to following in Competenz's footsteps next month," says Connexis Chief Executive Kaarin Gaukrodger.

Read the full article.

Qualification Development prepares for transition of standard setting 

The Qualification Development team have scheduled Reference Group meetings for the end of August, with updates on the transition of the standard setting functions to Waihanga Ara Rau Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council (CIWDC). 

The Qualification Development team would like to thank all our industry stakeholders who have supported us with qualification, programme, and unit standard feedback during our time at Connexis. Without your feedback, our products would not be fit for purpose and we look forward to continuing this work with you in the new system for vocational education and training. 

While Connexis' qualification and unit standard development will move to CIWDC, programme development will transfer with the Connexis brand into Te Pūkenga.

We will be in touch with new contact details before transition on 4 October. 

Mike, Marie, and Michele 
Learning Solutions GM and Qualification Developers 

Read more about the Reform of Vocational Education

New CE for Te Pūkenga announced

Te Pūkenga have recently announced the new CE for the Work Based Learning Subsidiary.

We wish Toby all the best and will look forward to welcoming him into Te Pūkenga on the 4th October.

Read more

July launches include three new products; our first micro-credential

July was a busy month for new product releases with the introduction of three new products, including our first micro-credential, and the review of four existing qualifications.

As the infrastructure industry grows, we continue listening to what employers are saying about the skills needs now and going forward, improving our qualifications and keeping them relevant and fit for purpose.

New qualifications (available from now):

  • NZC in Traffic Incident Management (Level 3)
  • NZC in On-site Wastewater Management System Design (Level 4)
  • On-site Wastewater Management Systems (Level 4) (Micro-credential)

Reviewed qualifications (also available from now):

  • NZC in Surveying (Level 4)
  • NZC in Electricity Supply (Utility Arboriculture) (Level 3)
  • NZC in Infrastructure Contract Management (Level 5)
  • NZC in Infrastructure Projects (Level 5)

Find out more about these qualifications.

Questions? Contact your local CSAM for more information

Workforce Development Strategies to provide skills and diversity to Energy and Water sectors

Work is well underway in creating a strategy to meet the ongoing workforce skills needs of the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) and 3 Waters (drinking water, wastewater and stormwater). Connexis was provided financial support from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) for these two projects as part of the COVID recovery fund for Transitional Industry Training Organisations and the soon to be established Workforce Development Councils.

Kohi Whakaaro

This project, a partnership between Connexis, the Electricity Engineers’ Association, iwi, and stakeholders from the Generation, Distribution, and Transmission sectors of ESI, has progressed to Phase 2, and is currently looking to answer questions such as how to increase diversity in the industry, and what are the training pathways available. As part of this work, a series of one-to-one interviews were run with target groups, including learners, employers, Māori, women, and those whose jobs were lost due to Covid.

The Draft Report is nearing completion, with the next step being consultation and feedback from industry. We are looking to release the draft report in a workshop at this year’s Annual Connection (September 21-23 in Christchurch). Keep an eye out for an invitation to this consultation.

The Phase 2 report is due out before the end of the year.

3 Waters

While a similar piece of work to Kohi Whakaaro, the 3 Waters Workforce Development Strategy is currently in the planning phase, establishing the best approach to proceed with. Connexis’ partners in this project include the Department of Internal Affairs, Taumata Arawai, the new Water industry regulator, and key industry representatives.

Work is ramping up and we will shortly be looking for industry input.

Women in Trades conference set to be biggest ever

Connexis is a proud sponsor of the WIT’s Getting Women into Trade Conference on 19 August.

This year’s event is preparing for a bigger crowd than previous years, with a larger venue (Auckland’s Vodafone Event Centre) and other sponsors including the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and Mitre 10.

The conference aims to connect women interested in trades training with information about trades careers and pathways, potential employers, training providers and industry services.

With the event constantly evolving since its inception in 2016, the target audience this year are young women considering trades training post-high school or women exploring a career change.

Industry organisations, tertiary education providers, and Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) will be providing information and hands-on activities. Look out for Connexis’ digger simulator and traffic management virtual reality simulator.

Tickets for free. Click here to register.

Diversity survey to understand barriers in construction and infrastructure

Connexis is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion, both internally and within the infrastructure industry.

We also see it as critical to plugging skills gaps, as growth continues across the Civil, Energy, Telco and Water sectors.

To get a better understanding of the existing work practices within the infrastructure and construction trades, Diversity Works NZ (working in conjunction with the Construction Sector Accord) has released two surveys - one for business owners or senior people managers; the other, for workers.

Get involved, have your say, and go in the draw to win a $750 Prezzy Card or an iPhone SE.

Find out more about the Diversity in Construction consultation.

Trade Careers launches pilot programme to connect women and employers

The Trade Careers project was developed from the recognition infrastructure and construction industries needed to significantly increase the number of women in trade careers, specifically targeting women who have lost their jobs or who are underemployed due to COVID-19.

With funding from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), Connexis is a proud partner in this initiative, along with BCITO, Skills and Competenz.

This project is now third phase which focuses on connection and delivery/ With the data, knowledge, and insights gathered in Phase 1 and 2, a pilot "Career Reboot" programme is currently in progress. This program aims to bridge the gap between women who are keen to get into the trades and employers who are keen to hire them.

In direct response to the questions raised from the Phase 2 survey and co-design sessions, Trade Careers toolkits were also developed for employers who are keen to employ more women, and for women, who are ready to get started in a trade career.

Employer toolkit – includes free videos and other resources to help hire more women, with updates sent each week. Click here.

Women’s toolkit – includes resources such as video interviews with women currently working in the trades, employers keen to hire women, tips, and tricks to help identify which trade is personally right, and links to existing opportunities. Click here.

To promote Trade Careers a series of Youtube episodes featuring comediennes Kura Forrester and Tessa Waters have been developed and are being rolled out weekly. Ultimit: Women in Infrastructure ambassador Kat Kaiwai is featured and has is a real influencer in this space with her episode viewed over 20,000 times.

See her interview here.

Follow the action on their website and on Facebook and Instagram 

Electricity Supply’s power players prepare to compete next month

The countdown to Annual Connection is on and we look forward to hosting people from across the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) on 21-23 September in Christchurch.

We are expecting some healthy competition as eight line mechanic crews and seven cable jointers battle it out to be the best. See which companies are taking part in this year’s line mechanic and cable jointer competitions.

There will be plenty to enjoy away from the competition arenas too, with a large number of exhibitor sites showcasing the latest new products and innovations.

Local high school students will also be joining us for two ESI Careers Insight Sessions to see the action up close and get a greater sense about career opportunities in this industry.

Find out more about Annual Connection and contact the Event Manager with any questions or for further information:

Energy and Telecommunication Industry Excellence Awards

Join us for a night of celebration following Annual Connection, the Energy and Telecommunication Industry Excellence Awards. This is an important occasion to recognise and celebrate the hard work and commitment it takes to skill up by rewarding the best and brightest trainees in Energy and Telecommunications.

Location – Air Force Museum of NZ, Wigram, Christchurch
Date: 23 September
Time – Pre Dinner Drinks 6.00pm | Dinner 7.30pm
MC –Mike McRoberts
Guest Speaker – Steve Gurney
Tickets- $175.00 + GST

With thanks to MITA Consulting Ltd as host sponsor this year.

The overall winners of Annual Connection’s Cable Jointers and Line Mechanics competitions will also be announced on the night.


What is happening in our regions?

We are seeing significant growth in apprenticeship and trainee numbers across our regions, thanks in large part to continued government support for vocational education through funding schemes such as the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF), otherwise known as Free Trades Training, and the Apprenticeship Boost wage subsidy scheme. This is having a knock-on effect for back-office services, keeping the results processing and finance teams busy.

Despite having increasing numbers of trainees to support, our Customer Service Account Managers (CSAMs) are putting greater effort into learner progression. The result is a significant uplift in learners hitting training targets, including the 10 credits in 12 weeks requirement.

In the South Island, our Level 3 leadership management course has kicked off. Fifteen foreman, supervisors and other leading hands are participating in face-to-face sessions to learn practical skills, tools and strategies to perform better as leaders.

A reminder from MoE to schools to continue engaging in Gateway

The Ministry of Education (MoE) is encouraging schools to continue supporting students into vocational training through programmes such as Gateway.

MoE has provided an update to schools on the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE). In it, it stresses how crucial schools are to vocational education and how it is seeking to build more links between schools and the world of work.

Read more here.

Click here to learn more about Gateway. Interested in becoming a Gateway employer? Talk to your Connexis Customer Service Account Manager (CSAM).

iJobsite connecting employers with workers

Looking for new talent?

Of the 135 firms that currently have job vacancies across the infrastructure industry, 90% report having difficulty recruiting.

iJobsite can help and has been developed by Connexis with infrastructure companies in mind. From entry level vacancies right up to senior management roles, iJobsite is a targeted platform that can connect you with prospective employees. It is free, easy to use, and far-reaching, with over 600 registered jobseekers.

Fill your vacancy today with iJobsite!

News Roundup

Interest in infrastructure industry is continuing to grow, contributing to unprecedented coverage of this year’s Girls with Hi-Vis® events. The reasons include the increase in Government funding as part of the Covid relief package, a spotlight on ageing or past underinvestment in infrastructure, and population growth. Meanwhile, there is a boom in vocational education and training due to skills gaps in many trades (exacerbated by continued border restrictions), Government support for this kind of learning, and job losses caused by Covid lockdowns.

See some of the latest headlines:

  • New Zealand Infrastructure Commission Te Waihanga launches first edition of Infrastructure Quarterly, a snapshot of issues and trends across the sectors and regions based largely on information from the Infrastructure Pipeline. Read more and subscribe.
  • Te Waihanga has also released the report of its Aotearoa 2050 consultation to find out what New Zealanders want the country to look like in 30 years’ time. The report concludes safer drinking water, climate change action, increased public transport, and reduced roading investment are among the top priorities. Read more.
  • Te Pūkenga says boosted outcomes for Māori and a close partnership with Te Tiriti o Waitangi in practice and operations will be key values in the delivery of vocational education moving forward. Read more about Te Pūkenga’s Te Pae Tawhiti report, out now.
  • Skills shortages threaten rebounding confidence in Civil Construction post-Covid. Read more.
  • The Three Waters reform programme continues dividing councils across the country. Read more about the proposed reforms, why the government sees them as necessary and what reservations some councils have.
  • The Health Select Committee has just released its report and recommendations on the Water Services Bill. The Bill is addressing the top priority issue identified in the Aotearoa 2050 consultation - safer drinking water. The Bill will enter Parliament again soon for its second reading. Read the Health Select Committees report on the Bill here. 


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