Responses to RoVE

Responses to RoVE

Last updated 28 August 2019
Last updated 28 August 2019

Many people and organisations, including polytechnics, industry training organisations, unions, industry, mayors and others are supportive of the vocational education reform announced by Education Minister Hipkins.

Tim Fowler talking with a group of people

The changes reinforce the Government’s commitment to collaborating with employers which will to support the regions and address the worsening skills shortage.

We have received feedback from some people expressing their concerns over the RoVE reforms, especially around the loss of autonomy of polytechnics, potential job losses, possible closures of polytechnics and loss of regional financial assets. We have been listening, and I want to address your concerns here.

New regional skills leadership groups will represent regional interests and will work across education, immigration and welfare systems to identify local skill needs and make sure the system is delivering the right mix of education and training. The Tertiary Education Commission will be required to take the advice of these groups into account when making investment decisions for the provision of vocational education.

The reforms have been created to make a more sustainable and coherent system to benefit not only learners and employers but you as educators too. They will ensure that the vocational education and training system has the right roles and capabilities to help people get the skills they need to get into work faster. There will be significant new roles available to make sure this happens throughout the regions.

The proposed approach is to establish the Institute of Skills and Technology next year, with 16 subsidiaries (one for each polytechnic) for up to two years as a transitionary measure. The Minister will decide whether to extend the life of any of the subsidiaries after that.

We have also considered polytechnics’ existing cash reserves, and these will be ring-fenced for your community’s use.

This transition will be carefully managed and we have provided flexibility in our approach. The vocational reforms will be in legislation, which will enable appropriate transitions for different organisations. An institute establishment board has already been named,  and will appoint the head of the establishment unit before the Institute is set up in April 2020.

In future, we need to deliver the highest quality of vocational education and training possible. We aim to meet the needs of industry and learners and produce enough skilled people to meet the current and projected skills shortage in New Zealand.

Through Centres of Vocational Excellence, the reforms will drive innovation and excellence in vocational teaching and learning. These centres will also be able to share learning technologies with providers to minimise costs and duplications.

The centres could also strengthen pathways into vocational education, including from school, to raise learner numbers and increase our skilled workers across New Zealand. The Minister has announced two centres this month, for the primary and construction sectors.

The opportunities from the vocational education reform are vast and we will work with you to help make them become a reality. We want to work with you to create meaningful partnerships to help the new system be successful. We hope that we’ll be able to address all of the concerns your organisations might have so that we can lead these new, exciting changes together.

Tim Fowler
Chief Executive