The Future of industry training

help shape the future of industry training and have your Say

If you have any questions or would like to provide your thoughts on the Future of Industry Training, please email us at

The changes to the vocational education system and industry training are being led by Hon Penny Simmonds, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills.

What’s important to employers within Industry Training?

The design of the new vocational system is underway – who’s involved from Industry?

How will Industry Training and New Zealand apprenticeships be enabled to grow while the polytechnic system returns to regional structures?

How do employers and Industry have a voice in the future of Industry training development and delivery?

Industry training in New Zealand plays a crucial role in developing a skilled workforce and ensuring that individuals are equipped with the necessary knowledge and competencies to meet the demands of various industries.

Industry Training has been in a state of change for the past four years as part of the Labour governments Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE).

As part of this reform, Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) were written out of legislation.  The ITOs standard setting functions, along with strategic research and leadership, were transitioned into Workforce Development Councils in 2021. In the same year, the delivery of industry training and apprenticeships were transitioned into Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology or Private Training Establishments (PTEs).

In December 2023 the new government announced the disestablishment of Te Pūkenga and the intent to revert campus-based training to 8-10 locally operated Polytechnics.

While the future state of Industry Training has not been made clear, it is important that employers and industry have a voice in its design.

Timeline – Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE):

2018 - The Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) engaged with vocational education and training sector stakeholders. From this, the Government made three main proposals for change:

  • New roles for providers and industry bodies.
  • A New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology serving all of New Zealand.
  • A unified funding system.
    13 February 2019 - The Minister of Education Chris Hipkins presented the three proposals to the vocational education and training sector and launched a seven-week consultation.

    1 August 2019 - Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, announced the Government’s decisions on the Reform of Vocational Education proposals with seven key changes. More information can be found here.
    1 April 2020 - The Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Act came into effect. It amended the Education Act 1989 and repealed the Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act 1992. Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) were now referred to as Transitional Industry Training Organisations (TITOs).
    September 2021 - Connexis Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation transitioned into a Division of Te Pūkenga.

    October 2021 - Six Workforce Development Councils were establishedAbout WDCs – The standard setting functions, strategic research and leadership for Industry training transitioned from TITOs into WDCs. To note ITOs had undertaken this function unfunded for years.
    September 2023 - Te Pūkenga announced its decision on its new organisational structure moving to six business groups and four regions for training delivery.
    October 2023 - Te Pūkenga employees impacted by the new structure were provided letters confirming their roles to be disestablished.
    7 December 2023 - the new Government announced its intention to disestablish Te Pūkenga.
    2 February 2024 - Te Pūkenga announced a consultation to commence 12 February for those staff sitting on disestablishment letters in order to provide the options available to them.

      Industry Training

      The purpose of the Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act of 1992 was to recognise and fund Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) for the purpose of:

      • developing and maintaining skill standards,
      • developing and maintaining arrangements for the delivery of industry training that will enable trainees to achieve the relevant skill standards,
      • and encourage and improve industry-based training
      Key features of successful industry training:
      1. Industry led, with a national focus, to work closely with employers, employees, and training providers to set standards, design and deliver industry-relevant training programs.
      2. Acknowledge that industries are not all the same and have specific needs and are in different stages of maturity in terms of industry and apprenticeship training.
      3. Apprenticeships and Traineeships: promoting pathways to skill development and high performing programmes that allow individuals to learn on the job while earning a wage, combining practical experience with theoretical knowledge.
      4. Qualifications Framework: The New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (NZQCF) provides a standardised framework for qualifications across different sectors. This framework ensures that the tertiary qualifications are nationally recognised and align with industry needs.
      5. The ability to support industry training at a qualification, micro-credential and at sub micro-credential levels to support all of industry workforce development, including employees, employers and sole operators.
      6. Workplace Learning: A significant emphasis is placed on workplace learning, where individuals gain practical experience within a real work environment. This hands-on approach enhances the relevance of the training to the actual needs of industries.
      7. Collaboration with Industry: Industry training programs are developed in collaboration with employers and industry experts to ensure that the skills acquired are directly applicable to the workplace. This collaboration helps in addressing current and future industry needs.
      8. Flexible Training Options: Recognising the diverse needs of learners and industries, industry training includes flexible training options, including part-time and distance learning, making education more accessible to a broader audience.
      9. Quality Assurance: Quality assurance mechanisms, such as regular reviews and assessments, are in place to maintain the standards of industry training programs. This ensures that the training provided is of high quality and meets the evolving needs of industries.

      Overall, industry training in New Zealand is designed to create a skilled and adaptable workforce, contributing to the country's economic development and competitiveness in the global market. The emphasis on collaboration, flexibility, and practical experience makes the system dynamic and responsive to the changing demands of industries.

      If you have any questions or would like to provide your thoughts on the Future of Industry Training, please email us at
      The changes to the vocational education system and industry training are being led by Hon Penny Simmonds, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills.