How our role addresses industry challenges

As a relatively new cog in the vocational education and training system, we still get asked if we’re an industry training organisation, a government department, a “woke cause”, or a Māori organisation. So, let’s set the record straight.

We’re not any of those.

This is what we do and how we help you: 

  • We review and develop industry standards and qualifications to ensure they are relevant and meet industry and community needs. We’ve reviewed and developed nearly 1,400 standards and over 50 qualifications. This has maintained the currency of industry qualifications, creating a skilled workforce for the future. We also endorse vocational education programmes before NZQA approves them.
  • We ensure that training fits industry and community needs and delivers good outcomes for learners. We ensure that these industry standards are applied consistently across the country and all ways of learning, whether on the job or on-campus online and assess training provision against industry standards to ensure that training is always high quality. We set and help with capstone assessments at the end of a qualification.
  • We continuously improve the quality of education delivery by working more collaboratively with providers and aligning our assurance needs with their mahi to focus more on continuous improvement and flexibility of assessment practice. It will also align moderation to the providers’ focus for the year, except where high-risk or capstone standards are being assessed. The 2023 Moderation Plan has been implemented every quarter. Moderation Plans will be developed with providers as they are brought into the Assurance Plan process during 2023. Te Pūkenga divisions are being treated as individual delivery sites until the new structure has been finalised and we understand their Assurance system going forward.
  • We work with industry and employers to understand the needed skills. We share this information with education and training providers, who create learning programmes that give people relevant skills to address future workforce needs.
  • We address skill and labour shortages by partnering with the Tertiary Education Commission, the NZ Qualifications Authority, Centres of Vocational Excellence, and providers (Te Pūkenga, Wānanga, and Private Training Establishments). We also engage with the Ministry of Education, advocacy groups, learners, Te Taumata Aronui, government agencies, and schools.
  • We advocate on your behalf to ensure policy settings and investment meet industry needs. Read our most recent advice to the Tertiary Education Commission.
  • We provide tools and resources for employers to help them attract and retain the right people and plan for the workforce they need in the future. This includes:
      • Launched TradeCareers online toolkit, which helps employers hire and retain people.
      • We’ve completed a Workforce Development Strategy with the Electricity Supply Industry. This identified several Strategic Goals and action recommendations about attracting new people to the workforce and the importance of clear career planning for the current workforce. 
      • Completed Waters Services projects. These show that 6,000-9,000 extra people are needed in this industry over the next 30 years. 
      • Published online Workforce Development Plans across the Construction and Infrastructure sectors. These look at workforce trends, gaps and solutions. They all capture a snapshot of the current workforce and paint a picture of the future.  
      • Created and enhanced the online Workforce Information PlatformWIP displays national and regional gaps and surpluses within the construction and infrastructure labour market determined by the dollar value of planned and active projects in the pipeline. It shows the occupations and numbers of people we need to put that work in place. The main updates include the addition of industry, workforce, employment pathway and training data, offsite manufacturing supply and demand, workforce demographics, career changer journey, and training insights.     
      • Launched fifteen regional reports as part of the Regional Construction Workforce Planning and Development Project. 

Other achievements include: 

  • Our advice to the Tertiary Education Commission and other key stakeholders includes industry feedback, evidence and data. 
  • Provided workforce projection data to help in the rebuild efforts following Cyclone Gabrielle.  
  • Identified qualifications that need increased or decreased funding based on both qualitative (e.g., industry voice) and qualitative (workforce forecast data – information 
  • Quality advice from our data, insights and feedback on Construction and Infrastructure has been provided to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) to influence investment decisions for delivery and mix of training provision in 2024. 
  • Established Industry Strategic Reference Groups, which provide both a sounding board and a feedback source for the needs, opportunities and challenges across our sector. 
  • Our Workforce Development Plan website provides the sector with robust workforce information on 11 strategic industry sectors, including new information on four sectors (Finishing Trades, Access Trades, Construction and Infrastructure Services and Civil Infrastructure). 
  • Delivered two Covid-19 Response Funded Projects – Industry Equity Project and Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying. 
  • Developed a Sustainability Skills Framework, which enables Waihanga Ara Rau and education providers to integrate sustainability principles and practices into education products and curricula.  
  • Enhanced the Workforce Information Platform website with additional industry, employment, training and pathway information.