Introducing Mark Williams, General Manager of Strategy & Insights

Mark Williams joins Waihanga Ara Rau Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council as the General Manager of Strategy & Insights.

Mark Williams v2

“Waihanga Ara Rau has the vision for Aotearoa to have a diverse, adaptable and thriving construction and infrastructure workforce, now and into the future.  That’s a vision that gets me up in the morning.” 


Meet Mark Williams, at Waihanga Ara Rau. Born as a Cockney Londoner, his family emigrated to Blenheim when he was eight years old. Mark now calls Wellington his home with his wife Steph and their two grown up daughters.  


Spanning over 26 years, Mark has a wealth of experience in Aotearoa’s vocational education, education and training sectors. Experiences include working for NZQA as part of the team setting up the qualifications framework, four years with the Agriculture ITO, ten years consulting across multiple industries, three years with the Open Polytechnic and six years with BCITO finishing as Insight and Innovation Manager before joining Waihanga Ara Rau.  


Mark has led projects focused on increasing the participation and success of women in trades, investigating the return on investment from training, forecasting workforce needs based on the project pipeline and analysing industry training penetration. 


Throughout Mark’s working life he has always felt inspired to add value to organisations which align with his personal goals. He believes Waihanga Ara Rau has the vision for Aotearoa to have a diverse, adaptable and thriving construction and infrastructure workforce, now and into the future. That’s a vision that gets him up in the morning.


Mark believes as a new organisation Waihanga Ara Rau needs to think strategically about what to focus on, where to invest effort, what information industry and government needs and where we are likely to get the best returns. He feels proud to lead the Insight and Strategy Team to deliver the information, evidence and strategies the organisation and those we advise need to make decisions.


Outside of work, Mark completed the Coast to Coast in 2014, more recently he has taken up the more leisurely pursuit of craft beer brewing, using this as the perfect excuse to build a brewing shed and grow his own hops in his garden. 


Mark believes his early working experiences working on a sheep and beef farm in the Tasman region cemented his strong work ethic. His personal passion is finding solutions and telling stories to bring them to life.  This has taken him from roles as a photojournalist, industrial salesperson, project management and research to the insights and strategy management role.


As Mark looks to the future, he believes the next 12 months for Waihanga Ara Rau will be about earning the respect of industry, government and the vocational education and training ecosystems we work with to ultimately be seen as a trusted advisor. This work will act as a catalyst for workforce transformation across Aotearoa New Zealand’s Construction & Infrastructure industries through collaboration, partnership and influence.