The Learning Cafe


  • Posted by Priya Prakash
  • On August 8, 2019

Further to our post a couple of months ago advising of the Government’s Review of Vocational Education in NZ, I just wanted to reconnect following Minister Hipkins announcement last week about the Government’s final decision on the proposed reforms.   

From our seat, as our focus has always been on ensuring that any learning is relevant to our clients’ workplace and industry, the Government’s overarching view looks to support that methodology.  In our experience this approach has led to people and their organisations performing better – so applied broadly, should lead to a stronger NZ Inc. Having said that, I guess you could say we are cautiously optimistic, as the design and the detail of the reforms still need to be fleshed out.   

Outlined below is a brief recap and confirmation of the seven changes that the Government will make.


The reforms aim to create a strong, unified, sustainable system for all vocational education that delivers the skills that learners, employers and communities need to thrive.  The intention of the new system is to have a stronger focus on employers, delivering the skills they need, providing more support for their employees, and ensuring greater consistency in vocational education across the country.  

Govt. Expectations:

  1. Longer term, they expect this will increase the number of employers who are engaged in vocational education.
  2. Learners will receive more support while they are training, and vocational education that is more relevant to work. They will be able to move more easily between regions and between work-based and provider-based training, and will be able to continue training more easily if their employment situation changes.
  3. Work-integrated learning will become an increasingly important part of the vocational education system, giving people the opportunity and flexibility to earn while they learn and gain an education that is more directly relevant to the changing needs of the workplace. 

Seven key changes:

Ultimately, they believe that a unified vocational education system will bring together industry and educators to make sure New Zealand’s workforce is fit for today’s needs and tomorrow’s expectations.

The scope of the Reform of Vocational Education includes seven key changes that will create a unified vocational education system:

  1. Create Workforce Development Councils: Around four to seven industry-governed bodies, to give industries greater leadership across vocational education. 
  2. Establish Regional Skills Leadership Groups: These would provide advice about the skills needs of their regions to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), workforce development councils, and local vocational education providers.
  3. Establish Te Taumata Aronui: A group to help ensure that the Reform of Vocational Education reflects the Government’s commitment to Māori Crown partnerships.
  4. Create a New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology: A unified, sustainable, public network of regionally accessible vocational education, bringing together the existing 16 ITPs.
  5. Shift the role of supporting workplace learning from ITOs (Industry Training Organisations) to providers: The new Institute and other providers would support workplace-based, on-the-job training as well as delivering education and training in provider-based, off-the-job settings, to achieve seamless integration between the settings and to be well connected with the needs of industry.
  6. Establish Centres of Vocational Excellence: CoVEs will bring together the Institute, other providers, workforce development councils, industry experts, and leading researchers to grow excellent vocational education provision and share high-quality curriculum and programme design across the system.
  7. Unify the vocational education funding system: A unified funding system will apply to all provider-based and work-integrated education at certificate and diploma qualification levels 3 to 7 (excluding degree study) and all industry training.

From <>

We will keep you posted as and when more information becomes available.

Thanks for your time.


Chief Executive Office – The Learning Wave Ltd