INFRASTRUCTURE INDUSTRY UPDATE | Reform of Vocational Education

Prue Feely News, RoVE

Between 23 September and 8 November, Connexis held seven events throughout New Zealand to engage with our customers and understand how you would like us to progress the upcoming changes to industry training. This was followed by a short survey that we emailed out to attendees. I am writing to share with you the results of that survey along with an update on what has been occurring since we last met.

Survey Results:

  • 98% agree that a Construction and Infrastructure WDC (Workforce Development Council) would be a good fit for their sector
  • 98% would like to see Connexis actively involved in the setup of the Construction and Infrastructure WDC
  • 73% support partnering with BCITO while 25% support partnering with BCITO and someone else to form a WDC
  • 89% support Connexis being first movers into a WDC
  • Only 42% support an earlier possible move to transition trainees and apprentices to the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST)
    • 51% would prefer trainees and apprentice staying under Connexis till the system is fully functioning
  • 88% support Connexis moving to the NZIST structure while transition is taking place as long as the trainees and apprentice remain with Connexis during the transition

The survey results show that our customers agree that Infrastructure is a good fit with Building and Construction and that there may also be some other related industries that could align well.

Overall our customers are comfortable with us being a first mover into a Workforce Development Council (WDC). However, in terms of the possible transition into New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST), our customers are more apprehensive and want to ensure trainees and apprentices stay under Connexis support until NZIST is functioning well.

Next Steps and Important Dates:

We have had a number of meetings since our Roadshow, both with other ITOs and key people engaged with the establishment of WDCs and NZIST.  These meetings have been centered around the agreement of the functions and governance of WDC along with the best options for transitioning into NZIST.  Officials have indicated the following timeframes for when these actions may occur.

Workforce Development Council (WDC)

December 2019  – Advice to industry on operating model and establishment
process for WDCs
Feb – April 2020   – Stand up some WDCs to begin, prior to 1 April legislative enactment
June 2021 – All WDCs in operation and funded for their functions

New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST)

2020 – Develop and agree charter and outcomes framework

  • Establish NZIST support functions

2021 – Shift the first set of arranging training from ITOs to NZIST, PTE or

  • Scope and do pre-work on key NZIST student and learning systems

2022 – Shift second/final set of arranging training from ITOs

  • Implement new monitoring and quality assurance arrangements
  • Deliver NZIST student and learning systems
  • Establish remaining RLGs and CoVEs

While these are indicative, there is still a lot that we have yet to get certainty on.  We continue to work through detail in order to get a more defined view of the transition period for our people, employers and trainees. 

We are working on the proposition of moving our standard setting functions through to a WDC in the later half of next year.  Alongside this, we are reviewing options for aligning our trainee support function within NZIST while having Connexis still retain full ownership of the trainee support function throughout the establishment period of NZIST.

While I would like to be sharing with you a more defined plan, this is as much information as I have at this point.  This is an agile process and we are having to move step by step before we have a clear understanding of the final view.

I will be keeping you updated as we move through each step.  In the meantime, if you have a burning question, I encourage you to contact me.  I am keen to hear from you, our customer, as it is vital that we understand your views and issues as we continue to progress.

Nga mihi
Toby Beaglehole
Connexis Chief Executive