16 December 2020
A significant milestone in the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE), is the formation of six new industry-led and governed Workforce Development Councils (WDCs). WDCs will provide industry with greater leadership across vocational education and training – something that industry has long sought. These WDCs will also take on accountability for the standard-setting functions Competenz currently undertakes for our industries.
Over the last few months, industry-led interim Establishment Boards have been working with the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and industry sectors, peak bodies, educators, Māori business and industry, to engage and provide advice to develop draft content for WDC Order in Council proposals.
Orders in Council are the legislative instrument needed to formally establish the six WDCs as legal entities.
What is TEC seeking feedback on?
The Tertiary Education Commission, who lead this work on behalf of the Ministry of Education, is asking people what they think of the WDC names, the industries they cover, and the governance arrangements. Feedback will inform the final Orders in Council needed to establish each WDC.
The six WDCs will represent or cover the industry groupings of:
- Service Industries
- Health, Community and Social Services
- Construction and Infrastructure Creative,
- Cultural, Recreation and Technology
- Primary Industries (where the forestry industry will sit)
- Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics (where the majority of Competenz’ sectors will sit)
Feedback is also sought on the WDC’s proposed governance arrangements, including how each WDC is governed; how the Board that will establish the WDC is appointed; the important skills Board members would need to bring; how Board members are suspended or removed; and how a WDC General Manager is appointed.
There are also statutory requirements around representation on each of the WDC Boards including the collective representation of employers and employees in the industries covered by a WDC and Māori employers from any or all of the specified industries.
How you can have your say
This consultation provides a further opportunity for industry, and others interested in vocational education and training from an industry and employer perspective, to have their voice heard.
You can give your feedback in multiple ways:
- At: wdcconsultation.tec.govt.nz – an online one-stop-shop for all things WDC-related
- By email: WDCConsultation@tec.govt.nz
- By phone: 0800 601 301
- By mail: WDC consultation C/O Tertiary Education Commission PO Box 27048 Wellington, 6141
- Via the formal ZOOM meetings hosted as part of consultation: register via the links on the consultation platform
What comes next
The consultation will close on 5 February 2021. Feedback will be assessed, with recommendations going to the Ministry of Education. Then, the six WDC Order in Council proposals will pass through the formal Cabinet and legislative processes before the Boards for each new WDC are created, and each WDC is established. The aim is to work towards establishing the WDCs by mid-2021.
Delivering a unified vocational education system is a team effort requiring long term partnerships between government, industry, employers, Māori, iwi, education and training organisations, peak bodies, learners, and unions.
Please kōrero mai: have your say on this important next step in the future of vocational education.