Introducing Ashley Chisholm, Relationship Manager Lead Equity and Partnerships Team

Ashley Chisholm joins Waihanga Ara Rau Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council as the Relationship Manager Lead of the Equity and Partnerships Team.

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"I have seen first-hand the very real benefits of vocational on-the-job training and am convinced that this way of learning and gaining skills and qualifications is a great opportunity for many young job ready people and employees who want to have a Trade.”

Meet Ashley Chisholm, at Waihanga Ara Rau. A fourth generation New Zealander with Scottish ancestry he was born and grew up in beautiful Timaru. Moving further north and working in Wellington for much of his career, Ashley and his wife now call sunny Napier home.

Spanning over 35 years and for the majority of his career, Ashley has been involved in the adult and vocational education and training sector. He wholeheartedly welcomed the opportunity to work for Waihanga Ara Rau as he saw it as another important step in refining and growing the vocational education for New Zealand’s workforce.

During his time in the sector, he has held roles from District Commissioner of Apprenticeships in Lower Hutt, Commissioner of Apprenticeships for New Zealand, NZQA Framework Development Industry Liaison, ITO Quality Assurance Manager, and manager of two Industry Training Organisations. He also ran his own consultancy business for 6 years.

A career highlight was establishing and successfully running the Fire and Rescue Services ITO (FRSITO). During his time at the helm of FRSITO he helped develop structured workplace training and credentialling of workers and tradespeople in those industries.

His passion is for vocational education is evident with Ashley stating;  

“I have seen first-hand the very real benefits of vocational on-the-job training and am convinced that this way of learning and gaining skills and qualifications is a great opportunity for many young job ready people and employees who want to have a Trade.”

Ashley’s role at Waihanga Ara Rau is to manage engagement activities to ensure industry and its associations, organisations, employers and employees are informed, consulted, listened to and advocated for. This then feeds into the development and provision of vocational and workplace education and training.

Looking to the year ahead, Ashley hopes that industry and learners support the vocational and education system in far greater numbers than currently, and that industry has a system and process that develops a well -rounded fully trained and skilled workforce.

Outside of work you’ll find Ashley spending time with his wife and family, which includes his own two grown-up children and five grandchildren. He is an avid gardener and when time allows you’ll find him on the golf course, riding his new e-bike or playing cornet in the Hawkes Bay Symphonic Band. Even Ashley admits he doesn’t know how he fits in all in.

Welcome Ashley, it’s so great to have your energy, enthusiasm and experience in our team.