Supporting people to earn while they learn

Supporting people to earn while they learn

Last updated 20 October 2020
Last updated 20 October 2020

The Unified Funding System project is working to create a single unified funding system for all tertiary organisations. This new system will be simple, relevant and responsive to learners and employers.

There will be three funding components in the new system – the Funding Category Component, the Learner Success Component, and the Strategic Component. The components are designed to work together so tertiary education organisations (TEOs) can deliver education and support work-integrated learning which is responsive to regional and national skills needs, supports learners and employers in ways that best meets their needs, and drives new and innovative ways of delivering learning. You can read more detail about the three components on the Unified Funding System page.

An important part of this new funding system, which will be rolled out from 2023, is funding tertiary education organisations to support learners into work integrated (on the job) learning.

This support is proposed to be delivered through the Funding Category Component - the largest part of the Unified Funding System. This component aims to provide more opportunities for learners to be exposed to the workplace, including opportunities to earn while they learn. It will also ensure learners and employers are supported through the vocational education system regardless of the setting they are in.

The Funding Category Component will provide funding for teaching and learning activities. Learners and employers will be supported to train both in educational settings and the workplace. It is proposed that there will be different rates to reflect the way the learning is delivered and the subject area.

The Minister has agreed to further development of four modes of delivery. These are:

  1. Provider-led: A learner completes a course without any formal on-the-job learning. The provider undertakes all teaching and learning, and is responsible for all learning support and pastoral care.
  2. Work integrated for learners brokered into employment: The provider brokers learners into paid employment in the relevant field of study with a training agreement. Learners are taught in the workplace for this part of their study, and the provider is responsible for making sure each learner and employer is appropriately supported.
  3. Work integrated for learners who are employed: Learners are taught in the workplace for this part of their study, and the provider is responsible for making sure each learner and employer is appropriately supported.
  4. Employer-led: An employer creates or commissions and delivers an in-house training course for employees. Providers support employers to match training to NZQF standards, and also have oversight of assessment.

Next steps for the project team is to figure out how each of these modes could operate, and the team is working with experts from the sector to determine how best to encourage work integrated learning. So far the team has had very productive conversations with staff from the Programme, Finance, and Data areas of transitional Industry Training Organisations. Finding out more information from a range of tertiary education organisations and other stakeholders will continue until the end of the year.

If you have any thoughts or questions about the modes of delivery, or if you would like more information on the Unified Funding System, simply email or read about it on the TEC website.

What is the scope of this project?

The Unified Funding System covers all Student Achievement Component and Industry Training Funded learning at certificate and diploma levels 3-7 (excluding degree study) regardless of the setting in which this learning takes place. This includes learning delivered and arranged by the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, wānanga, private training establishments, and universities.