Connexis and Te Pūkenga sign Transfer Agreement

benstevens News, RoVE

Connexis and Te Pūkenga have agreed to the terms under which the Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation (trading as Connexis) will shift most of its core functions into Te Pūkenga’s new Work Based Learning Limited (WBL) subsidiary.

In June, the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) approved Connexis to transition its Arranging Training and Standard Setting activities into other entities as part of the changes under the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE).

Connexis is one of the first of the 11 Transitional Industry Training Organisations (TITOs) to gain approval for its Transition Plan and to sign a Transfer Agreement to transfer its Arranging Training activities to a provider.

On 1 September 2021, Connexis will shift most of its activities, excluding the Standard Setting functions, into Te Pūkenga. Te Pūkenga is the new Crown entity established by the government to unite Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and TITOs around the country into a national network.

When a TITO transitions functions to Te Pūkenga, it will become a separately branded business division within the WBL subsidiary of Te Pūkenga. Following transition, Connexis will be referred to as Connexis Business Division within WBL.

Connexis Business Division will continue to Arrange Training, working with industry to develop training programmes that satisfy workforce needs, sign employees up to work-based training programmes, and provide support for them throughout their learner journey.

Connexis Chief Executive Kaarin Gaukrodger says there was widespread support for a shift into Te Pūkenga WBL from within the industry, the organisation and TEC, and that the Transfer Agreement puts the infrastructure industry in the best position to benefit from the reforms.

“It provides for a system fed by strong industry input and retains existing skills and expertise including the specialist training providers, assessors, moderators and other members of the Connexis team.

“By being part of the wider Te Pūkenga family we hope to be able to meet current and future workforce demand in our industries by improved regional access to training, increased flexibility and support for learners, and delivering high quality, relevant outcomes and skills.

“We’re focussed on a smooth transition, with minimal disruption to learners and employers who will not see much change this year as we continue to provide the programmes and level of service currently on offer. We will be looking for areas to improve and add value to our industry as we work within Te Pūkenga to help establish the new unified vocational education system.”  

Acting Chief Executive of WBL Fiona Kingsford welcomes Connexis as the second industry training organisation to move into WBL.

“We are extremely pleased to have Connexis join the Te Pūkenga whānau. With Connexis’ help, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a vocational learning system that is simple to navigate, responds to the needs of a diverse range of learners and employers, and is flexible enough to change as the future develops.  The skills, knowledge, and experience that Connexis brings to Te Pūkenga are very much valued,” she says.

Connexis’ Standard Setting activities will transition into Workforce Development Councils (WDCs), primarily the Waihanga Ara Rau Construction and Infrastructure WDC, on 4 October 2021. Standard Setting involves developing qualifications, setting standards, moderating assessments, and helping shape the curriculum of vocational education.

The transition of activities from the TITOs to other entities under RoVE represents an important milestone for the integration of on-job, on-campus and online vocational training.

The transition of all activities must take place on or before 31 December 2022.

Connexis will transition into Te Pūkenga a month after fellow TITO Competenz. Competenz will transition in August 2021.