Confirmation of Workforce Development Councils aligns with the future of work, says industry training chief

Fiona Kingsford2 v2

17 December 2019

“The best possible news” is the reaction of Competenz, one of the country’s largest industry training organisations (ITOs) in the wake of today’s Education Minister Hon Chris Hipkins confirmation of the structure of the Workforce Development Councils (WDCs), which are part of the Government’s overhaul of the Vocational Education sector.

Under the new system, current ITOs will be disestablished, and part of their responsibilities will be handed over to the WDCs. The new WDC responsibilities will include: setting standards for qualifications, unit standards and other skill standards; skills leadership; consistency of assessment and learner outcomes; advising on funding and industry brokerage. WDCs won’t be directly involved with arranging training.

Six industry-led WDCs will be established: Manufacturing, Engineering, Logistics and Technology; Creative, Cultural and Recreation; Primary Industries; Service Industries; Health, Community and Social Services - and Construction and Infrastructure.

Fiona Kingsford, Competenz Chief Executive says the ITO wholeheartedly supports the Minister’s announcement to form six skills-aligned WDCs.

“This is aligned to the feedback our industries provided during consultation so it’s encouraging their views were listened to and to see this structure has been adopted.

“Competenz will continue to work with the Government, MITO, NZMACITO, Primary ITO, Service IQ and industry representatives to develop the structure and governance arrangements of the Manufacturing, Engineering, Logistics and Technology WDC. This grouping supports the future of work, ensuring New Zealand has a strong workforce that has the skills and capabilities to keep pace with automation and technology changes in our industries.”

She says Competenz will also support forestry, journalism, graphic design and signmaking to ensure the same seamless process is undertaken for their transfer to the Primary WDC and Creative WDC.

“Collaboration with Government officials and all relevant ITOs during this process will be the key to ensuring that there’s no disruption to our employers and learners during the transition.

“Please rest assured there will be no change to the current services and support our employers, learners, industry associations and other key stakeholders receive from Competenz throughout the transition. The final date for transition for all functions is 31 December 2022, with all WDCs being established by June 2021,” said Fiona.

She says the Government has confirmed their next steps will be to further engage on the WDC establishment process early next year, and support industry to identify their governance arrangements and Board appointment process for the WDCs.

Confirmed WDC coverage:

RoVE WDC Fact Sheet2