A new grant scheme will support visionary training initiatives that will help to step up the workforce skills of New Zealand’s infrastructure industry, with the first round of applications opening in July 2022.
The scheme will be funded by The Infrastructure Education and Training Charitable Trust, and will be administered by the Public Trust. It is the legacy left to the infrastructure industry from the Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation that had been trading as Connexis (IITO).
The IITO was wound up when Connexis became a business unit of the Work Based Learning Subsidiary within Te Pūkenga, the government’s new institute of skills and technology, as part of the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) in 2021.
A trust advisory panel, made up of representatives from the infrastructure and education sector, will meet twice a year to assess applications for funding and distribute grants of up to $1 million annually.
The IETCT’s purpose is to distribute the funds in projects that will develop, promote and facilitate education and training within the infrastructure industry, with the overall goal of increasing the skills, competency and effectiveness of the sector’s workforce.
Applications for the first funding round will be open from 4-25 July 2022, via the Public Trust website at www.publictrust.co.nz/grants. Grants will be announced in September. Organisations eligible to apply for the grants include:
- Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning Ltd
- Waihanga Ara Rau Construction and Infrastructure WDC
- Entities providing scholarships, grants or similar to individuals who are in vocational training on an infrastructure related qualification
- Entities working within the infrastructure sector (for example providers, industry associations, industry groups, researchers).
- Connexis ex-board chair Brian Warren says the Infrastructure Education and Training Charitable Trust will ensure IITO provides a lasting positive legacy on infrastructure training within New Zealand.
“The aim of the trust is to continue to support and facilitate educational training across infrastructure – that’s civil, energy, telco and water,”
– Warren says.
“The grants aren’t about the betterment of any one person, or for business as usual projects. They’re about improving the lot of the infrastructure workforce in New Zealand.”
Te Pūkenga and Waihanga Ara Rau will have representatives on the Infrastructure Education and Training Charitable Trust advisory panel, as will other infrastructure organisations Civil Contractors NZ, Water NZ and the Electricity Engineers Association. Te Taumata Aronui and the learner voice will also be represented.