A Word From Our Director – May 2024

Kirste Floyd eNews, News

Kia ora koutou,

As the year progresses, infrastructure continues to be a key focus for the new government and building workforce capability and capacity to deliver quality infrastructure continues to be a critical need. While our industries continue to advocate for longer term planning, the government have announced investment in ten roads of regional significance to sit alongside the two roads of National significance. As these projects role out, Connexis will be keen to engage and support through upskilling the local workforce and increasing the capacity to deliver quality outcomes through industry training.     

As you read this newsletter, Girls with Hi-Vis® is well under way for 2024. The increased engagement in this initiative means the annual June event now runs right through May and June. Seven Sharp were filming at the East Coast GWHV event in Ruatoria, covering the wahine toa who are part of the local contractors keeping the coast connected following the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle.  

As fun and informative as GWHV events always are, they have an important focus which is to connect female school students with local infrastructure employers and get them excited and motivated to join our industry. Increasing diversity is one of the key tools to addressing the industry’s workforce skills shortages.  

Both schools and employers see the benefit of these events to their communities and students. As the success stories keep growing of females attending an event and then stepping into employment with a host company, the number of events and attendance also continues to grow year on year. Connexis started these events in 2015 when the industry asked for help to get more females interested in taking up a career in infrastructure. In 2015 GWHV was launched with 3 events and 50 female school students in attendance. This year, we have over 40 events across the country and approximately 900 female school students registered to attend.   

While we continue to focus on our industries skills needs, the Government’s planned disestablishment of Te Pūkenga continues to advance. Details for the future entities for the delivery of industry training are still being finalised, however we are continuing to advocate for the importance of industry led training, a national approach for consistency, one point of contact for our employers, the ability to be responsive and agile, strategic and collaborative partnerships, equitable and accessible pathways, transparency of funding and most importantly stability and certainty for the vocational education sector.   

We will continue to update you with any developments as soon as we have new information. In the meantime, Connexis remains committed to providing our ongoing service to our employers and learners, continuing to review, develop and improve our training programmes and ensure quality standards remain as we look to meet industry needs. 

As the Government plans develop, Connexis will continue to operate as usual. We anticipate no disruptions to training for learners and we will continue to rollout new and improved programmes – such as the New Zealand Certificate in Infrastructure Works, (Level 3) which will be launched in June 2024.  

As we approach the middle of the year we are focussed on key industry events like Annual Connection, the 2024 Connexis Energy Trainee Awards, and the Connexis Civil Training and Development Awards, as well as key areas of support such as Infrastructure Education and Training Charitable Trust (IECT) grants designed to support unique training initiatives and the Manaaki Fund, as well as the Government’s Fees Free and Apprenticeship Boost.  

If your learners are facing any hurdles to completing their training – such as learning difficulties, financial challenges or wellbeing issues, or you need further training support, please don’t hesitate to contact your Customer Service Account Manager (CSAM) for help.  

Stay safe, well, and warm through winter.  

Kaarin Gaukrodger 

Connexis Executive Director