Workforce Development Councils a key development

BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope welcomes further clarification on the Government’s decision to establish six industry-led Workforce Development Councils (WDCs).

Mr Hope says the move will need to be carefully managed to ensure that impacts on businesses offering apprenticeships and other industry training programmes are minimised.

The six new WDCs will cover Creative, Cultural and Recreation; Primary Industries; Service Industries; Health, Community and Social Services; Manufacturing, Engineering, Logistics and Technology; and Construction and Infrastructure.

Mr Hope says business has been seeking clarity on the reform of vocational education, and today’s announcement is a step in the right direction.

“The Minister’s decision provides greater clarity, and Workforce Development Councils clustered around the skills of complementary industries is welcomed.”

“It is vital that the WDCs, existing Industry Training Organisations (ITOs), and Government are attuned to the voice of business and are listening to their stakeholders as transition plans are advanced.

“There is great potential for the reforms to deliver better outcomes in meeting the skill demands for businesses and our economy. Businesses and learners need to be at the heart of the reform process,” Mr Hope says.

Once established, the WDCs will take over some of the key functions of the current ITOs, including ensuring training qualifications meet industry standards and that courses that are taught are relevant and timely.

“Education is messy to reform and the Government is brave to take on the challenge and heed the lessons from the past. For the future of New Zealand, we hope the changes are all successful.”

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