Fiona Kingsford, Competenz CEO
2019 RoVE summary
The Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) proposal was released by the Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins in February 2019. A lot more far reaching than most in the industry expected, its potential implications dominated the vocational education landscape throughout the year.
While Competenz welcomed the Minister’s desire to strengthen the vocational education sector, there was deep concern about the proposed disestablishment of the 11 industry training organisations (ITOs) and their role in supporting employers and learners.
In April 2019, we responded to the Government’s proposal with a submission based on the feedback of more than 1000 employers and industry leaders through an online survey, workshops and individual meetings. This submission and other detailed RoVE information can be found at competenz.org.nz/reform-of-vocational-education.
Competenz and its industry stakeholders largely agreed that:
Competenz and its industry stakeholders did not agree with:
In August 2019, the Government confirmed its proposal was going ahead, largely unchanged. While Competenz was disappointed, the input from our employers and stakeholders during the consultation process meant we were well placed to support industry and the Government to design and implement the new system, and to advocate for our industries. Competenz subsequently adopted a constructive approach to support the design and implementation of RoVE. This has involved Competenz senior leadership contributing to many of the design and transition activities in the RoVE programme and in the establishment of the NZIST.
Further extensive consultation on how industry wants the new Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) formed was undertaken via surveys and workshops. This saw another Competenz submission, based on industry feedback, presented to the Tertiary Education Commission on 25 October 2019. The full submission is available at competenz.org.nz/reform-of-vocational-education.
Competenz is now focused on supporting its 37 industries with transition planning and getting the best outcome for learners, employers and industries in the new world, by adopting a ‘first-mover’ approach. This includes extensive industry engagement via more industry workshops, industry association board meetings and general consultation.
What are the main changes to be implemented under RoVE?
On 01 August 2019 the Government announced there will be seven key changes to create a unified vocational education system, full details can be found at tec.govt.nz/rove. As part of breaking down the barriers between on-the-job and off-the-job training, it will disestablish the eleven industry training organisations (ITOs), of which Competenz is one, and replace them with two new entities:
The WDC functions and the arranging of on-job training are currently ITO activities. On 17 December 2019, the Minister of Education confirmed the structure of the WDCs. Six industry-led WDCs will be established by June 2021.
Workforce Development Councils coverage
What are the main implications for Competenz employers and learners?
This WDC structure is aligned to the feedback our industries provided during consultation and Fiona Kingsford Competenz CEO says “it’s encouraging their views were listened to and to see this structure has been adopted”.
Competenz continues to work with the Government, MITO, NZMACITO, Primary ITO, Service IQ and industry representatives to support the development of the structure and governance arrangements of the Manufacturing, Engineering, Logistics and Technology WDC.
Competenz also continues to support forestry, journalism, and graphic design to ensure the same seamless process is undertaken for the transition of the standard setting functions to the Primary WDC and Creative WDC.
While the training delivery landscape is definitely changing, these changes will be progressively implemented by December 2022. By June 2021, all WDCs will be in place and by December 2022, all work-based training will have transferred from Competenz to the new national institute, NZIST or another provider. However, for now, there is no interruption to the services Competenz provides to our employers, trainees and apprentices.
So, there is absolutely no reason for employers to stop signing their employees into training for fear apprentices and trainees won’t be able to complete because of upcoming changes.
All qualifications remain for now, they are fully supported by Competenz and everyone entering one will be able to complete them.