Last week Minister of Education Chris Hipkins announced that the government plans to proceed with its Reform of Vocational Education. CCNZ in its submissions on the review said the proposals had the potential to fix longstanding issues with vocational training and education, despite needing careful management and more recognition of on-job training.
It is great to see a more measured approach to the speed of the reform coming. However the announcement that there will be only between four and seven Workforce Development Councils – potentially with only one council covering all of construction – means the civil construction industry will have to work harder than ever to be heard. I am not sure how that improves things for employers. We are also concerned about the potential overlapping responsibilities and potential for conflict between the Workforce Development Councils and the Regional Skills Leadership Groups. On the positive side it is great to see the strong influence the Workforce Development Councils will have over funding and the removal of duplication in the delivery of off-job training.
We know almost 60 per cent of our members deliver more than half their training on the job. We are speaking up to ensure we have a strong focus on on-the-job training. We are trying to help the vocational education sector figure out how to shift its focus from off-job training. The key for someone starting out is to get a job within the industry and then commence training. That way you know the training, which will mainly be delivered on the job, will be of real value to your employer and the work you do.
CCNZ will be working with Connexis and will keep members informed and involved going forward. We encourage all our members and trainees involved in the civil industry training to continue with what you are doing. We need well trained people and the review does not change that.
For more information on the proposed changes, go to https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/reform-of-vocational-education