Connexis Experience Key in the Future of Industry Training

Diana Blake News, RoVE

Important knowledge and experience of infrastructure industry training will be present in the leadership team of the new Waihanga Ara Rau Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council (WDC).

Connexis General Manager Learning Solutions Mike Grumball has been named as one of a new team of four Waihanga Ara Rau General Managers. 

Workforce Development Councils are being established through the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) and will come into effect on 4 October 2021. They will set standards, develop qualifications and shape the curriculum of vocational education to ensure it meets their industries’ needs.

Director of Connexis, a business division of Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning Limited (WBL), Kaarin Gaukrodger says: “It’s great to see the talent and expertise of a Connexis manager being recognised as a valued asset to the newly formed WDC.

“This is an important step for the infrastructure industry, with the Waihanga Ara Rau leadership driving the development of skill standards to deliver a skilled workforce to build and maintain New Zealand’s infrastructure within this changing environment.”

Mike Grumball has a long history with vocational education, having started his journey at the Southern Institute of Technology back in 1995. He has been working within the industry training sector since 2015.

Mike credits his years at Connexis with giving him important senior management and leadership experience. He says he looks forward to being involved in the setup of Waihange Ara Rau and will use his new position to be a strong voice for industry.

Mike will remain in his role at Connexis until 8 October, when Paul Mitchell, currently Connexis’ Programme Manager – RoVE Transition, will step in as acting GM Learning Solutions. Connexis will be recruiting for a permanent replacement soon.

The other three newly appointed General Managers of Waihanga Ara Rau are:

  • Catriona Petrie, General Manager Qualifications System Product
  • Mark Williams, General Manager Strategy and Insights
  • Vanessa Delegat, General Manager Equity and Partnerships

Click here for full GM bios.

Waihanga Ara Rau covers the four infrastructure sectors of Civil, Energy, Telecommunications, and Water, as well as building and construction.

Paul Mitchell

Paul has been working in the vocational education and training sector for over 20 years, working with a number of Industry Training Organisations (ITOs). During that time Paul has worked in and more recently managed a wide range of ITO functions and teams.

Paul has worked with Connexis since 2015. He is currently the Programme Manager for the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) transition, and was instrumental in the smooth transition of Connexis’ arranging training functions into Te Pūkenga subsidiary Work Based Learning Limited (WBL). He is currently working towards the imminent transfer of standard setting into Waihanga Ara Rau.

This broad experience has given Paul a comprehensive understanding of the vocational education sector, and the needs of learners, their employers and the wider infrastructure industry.

Paul says: “I am very excited to step into this role so that Connexis, as part of WBL, can continue to provide great service to our industries while continuing to make improvements by taking advantage of the new opportunities that will come from Connexis now being part of a larger, unified network”.