Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE): The biggest change to vocational education in 25 years

The RoVE programme consists of seven key changes aimed at creating a strong, unified, sustainable vocational education system that is fit for the future of work, and that delivers the skills that learners, employers and communities need to thrive.

Here is the outline of the RoVE programme.

Why things need to change

The world is changing:

  • New Zealand agrees: we need big change to meet today’s needs and be ready for whatever the future brings.
  • The world of work is changing significantly, and the vocational system we have today isn’t ready for the future of work.
  • One third of jobs in New Zealand will be affected by automation.
  • Skills needed in all jobs will change.

Skills shortages must be addressed:

  • The Government is tackling the long-term challenges of skills shortages across a number of industry sectors and the mismatch between training provided and the needs of employers.
  • There will be new opportunities to improve the skills of all New Zealanders, no matter where they are in their education or career.

Many ITPS are facing big challenges:

  • Some ITPs have continued to experience growth and are high-performing institutions, but most have struggled with falling domestic enrolments in recent years.
  • All regions deserve to be backed to succeed; there’s strength in combining forces to support each other.
  • We want to make sure there are relevant, quality education opportunities available to all New Zealanders, no matter where they are located.

Industry input is needed:

  • Employers have told us the lack of industry input into off-the-job learning is frustrating.
  • To have effective vocational education, industry needs a say in what providers teach so that on-campus and online students learn the skills they need to be ready for the world of work.

Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) – responsible for providing industry advice, on industry needs, across New Zealand

  • WDCs will help industry take a lead in making New Zealand’s workforce fit for today, and the future.
  • Through skills leadership plans they will set a vision for the workforce and influence the vocational education and training system.
  • The formation of six WDCs will be fast-tracked for establishment by the target date of December 2020. This is ahead of the original target of mid-2021, to help support New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery. We are fast-tracking establishment of all six WDCs to secure a strong industry voice as we move into a post COVID-19 environment.
  • Once WDCs are established, they will provide advice and support to Government in its response to COVID-19 while providing important insight to employer and learner needs.
  • Aligning the stand-up of all six WDCs will cement their collaboration and enable shared functions and services across WDCs to be explored.
  • As expected, there is increased interest in vocational education and training so it’s even more important that new initiatives, such as the WDCs, are established as soon as possible to support the new system.

What does a WDC do?

  • WDCs will have a forward, strategic view of the future skills needs of industries. They will translate industry skill needs now and in the future for the vocational education system.
  • WDCs will set standards, develop qualifications and help shape the curriculum of vocational education. They will moderate assessments against industry standards and, where appropriate, set and moderate capstone assessments at the end of a qualification.
  • WDCs will also provide advice to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) on investment in vocational education, and determine the appropriate mix of skills and training for the industries they cover.
  • WDCs will endorse programmes that lead to qualifications, whether work-based (such as apprenticeships), on-campus or online. Unless a programme has the confidence of a WDC, which is essentially industry confidence, it won’t be endorsed by the WDC nor funded by the TEC.
  • Besides setting expectations, providing skills leadership and setting standards, WDCs will provide employers with brokerage and advisory services. WDCs won’t, however, be directly involved in arranging apprenticeships and other on-the-job training which will sit with providers.
  • WDCs are unique from other parts of the new system such as Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) and Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs). WDCs will be responsible for providing industry advice, on industry needs, across New Zealand. CoVEs are responsible for innovation and excellence in vocational education. RSLGs will provide regional advice, on regional needs, across industries.

Here is some extra information about the Workforce Development councils:

Meet the interim Establishment Board for Creative, Cultural, Recreation and Technology: