Momentum continues with growth and change for our vocational education system

Momentum continues with growth and change for our vocational education system

Last updated 4 December 2020
Last updated 4 December 2020

Kia ora koutou

I am really pleased to be back in my role as Minister of Education and to continue to progress the ground-breaking reform of our vocational education system.

In November, the Prime Minister and I launched the Government’s new campaign to raise the profile of vocational education and training. It comes as apprentice numbers are over 80 percent since October last year.

Our initiatives to encourage this uptake, such as the $320 million free Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) and $380 million Apprenticeship Boost fund, have been well supported. The response from the VET sector and employers has been impressive. Despite this year’s challenges we‘ve all embraced the need to look to the future.

Since July, close to 14,000 new apprentices have started a new apprenticeship, up from about 7500 in the same period last year. More than 17,000 learners, compared to about 12,500 previously, have also begun TTAF programmes in industries critical to our economic recovery.

Progress on RoVE programme has also been strong. Te Pūkenga is established, and I am looking forward to seeing their new operating model start to come to life from next year.

I want to acknowledge the vital role of Taumata Aronui in helping ensure that the reforms meet the needs of Māori learners, communities and employers. Established in December 2019, they will ensure that RoVE reflects our commitment to Māori-Crown partnerships.

The process to create our Workforce Development Councils has begun with the establishment of the six Interim Establishment Boards (iEBs). The iEB’s have been engaging widely with their industry sectors to develop their draft Orders in Council that will be consulted on from December 16 to February 5, 2021. I am appreciative of the commitment that the members of the iEBs have invested in this first important step. They are on track to be established by mid next year.

Two Centres of Vocational Excellence for the construction and primary sectors have been confirmed and are in the process of being set up. We have also completed the formation of 14 Regional Skills Leadership Groups across the country, who have already started producing local insights reports to help inform what our regional skills needs are.

A huge part of the reform programme is the complete overhaul of our funding system. While the change won’t be fully implemented until 2023 a lot of work has already been done on initial policy and design.

I have been pleased with the constructive work being done by the Transitional Industry Training Organisations to progress the transition of their arranging training functions to Te Pūkenga and other providers. I remember speaking to all the ITO Chairs and Chief Executives earlier this year and was impressed by their willingness to move forward while also being very focused on making sure the employers, learners and staff were looked after. I am confident this part of the reform is in good hands.

Despite the enormous disruptions 2020 has brought, we’ve kept moving forward with your help and support. Thank you. Momentum continues.


Best regards,

Chris Hipkins