Competenz appoints new Director, Amanda Wheeler

July 20, 2021

Industry training organisation Competenz has appointed Amanda Wheeler to the newly created role of Director, to lead the organisation through its transition into Te Pūkenga, The New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology and beyond.

Ms Wheeler is the current General Manager of Industry Training within Competenz and will commence in her new role on 02 August 2021. Competenz Board Chairperson George Adams said the board were excited by her vision and commitment.

“Amanda’s passion for industry training is clear in everything she does. She is a vocal and proud champion of the mahi the team at Competenz does and is extensively versed in the intricacies of the 38 industries they serve.

We know Amanda will be a strong advocate for vocational education and Competenz within Te Pūkenga, at all levels, as the organisation navigates the changes ahead,” Mr Adams said.

Ms Wheeler is an extensively experienced leader, having held chief executive and senior roles for the past 18 years in medium-sized corporate and non-government organisations. She understands the demands of New Zealand's industries and is passionate about helping Kiwis build skills, careers and businesses through qualifications that make it easy to learn on the job. She joined Competenz in 2017 in a stakeholder management role and has led the core field-facing team since 2018. During this time, Ms Wheeler has worked hard to cement the connection between the training advisory, forestry, and customer teams and businesses across the 38 industries they work with.

“I am proud to be entrusted with leading the new Competenz Business Division within Te Pūkenga – it’s a truly thrilling opportunity and one that I will relish,” Ms Wheeler said. ’I’m particularly excited to help shape the future of vocational education: the bringing together of work-based, online and classroom learning will bring massive benefits to learners and employers alike,” she added.

Ms Wheeler is the first person ever to be appointed to the role of Director, Competenz Business Division, Work-Based Learning Subsidiary, Te Pūkenga. The position has come about as part of the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) which sees all industry training organisation and polytechnics joining together by December 2022. The Director takes the place of the Competenz Chief Executive position, currently held by Fiona Kingsford, which has been disestablished.

Ms Kingsford said she knows she is leaving the organisation in great hands. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Amanda closely over the last four years. She innately understands industry training and has led the field team through times of both incredible growth and also incredible challenge – COVID-19 and the need to adapt quickly to new ways of working while continuing to offer the same outstanding levels of service is just one example. I look forward to watching her and the Competenz Business Division flourish.”