Workforce Development Councils to lead a stronger industry voice
Hon Chris Hipkins
Six industry-led Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) will be established to provide industry with greater leadership
across vocational education and training, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.
The selection and make-up of the WDCs is a key decision in the reform of vocational education.
“These new WDCs will ensure industry takes the lead in making sure learners develop the skills they need to be ready for
the world of work,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.
“The areas of coverage for the six WDCs will be:
• Construction and Infrastructure
• Primary Industries
• Service Industries
• Health, Community and Social Services
• Manufacturing, Engineering, Logistics and Technology, and
• Creative, Cultural and Recreation.
“The WDCs group industries and sectors logically and are based on the business community’s favoured model and the way
that secondary schools think about vocational education.
“Combined, they cover most of the industries that employ around two and a half million people in half a million
businesses across New Zealand,” Chris Hipkins said.
“Once established, the WDCs will take over some of the key functions of the current Industry Training Organisations
(ITOs). These include ensuring training qualifications meet industry standards and that courses that are taught are
relevant and up to date.
“Unless a training or education programme has the confidence of industry through its representation on a WDC it won’t be
approved or funded.
“The other current role of ITOs – the responsibility for day-to-day support for apprenticeships and other on-the-job
training – will shift from ITOs to the Institute of Skills & Technology and other providers such as wānanga and private training establishments.”
Chris Hipkins said the Government had been tasked by industry to move quickly to establish the WDCs, to provide
sufficient time to plan for the changeover.
“This is a key decision and follows extensive consultation with industry groups, employers and ITOs since August. It
follows industry preference as much as possible.
“In addition to forming more logical groupings, WDCs will bring a number of new industries or sectors not currently
covered by ITOs. These industries, which include web and graphic design, fashion, ICT and teacher support
qualifications, will now have a powerful industry voice.
“The final coverage areas for WDCs and their names will be agreed though Orders in Council. The current coverage
descriptions for each WDC are working titles only, as is the New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology” Chris Hipkins said.
Commencing early in the new year, the next steps on the establishment process for WDCs include:
• Further engagement with industry, relevant stakeholders, and industry training organisations on the WDC establishment
• Supporting WDCs to identify their governance arrangements and Board appointment process to ensure good governance
arrangements are put in place and that the WDCs represent all industry interests within their area of coverage.
• Supporting ITOs in their transition by establishing transitional ITOs on 1 April 2020 to maintain current ITO
capability until WDCs are established and a provider has taken on their responsibilities for arranging training.
The establishment of WDCs will be enabled by the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform)
Amendment Bill. There will then be a transition period until 31 December 2022, to allow time for functions to transfer
to the new WDCs and providers.
“We’ve assured the vocational and education sector that implementing these changes will not be rushed and we will build
a phased, gradual transition process to minimise disruption,” Chris Hipkins said.
The final coverage areas for WDCs and their names, below, will be agreed though Orders in Council.
WDC CoverageGeneral Coverage AreasComponents from Existing ITOsCreative, Cultural and RecreationGraphic, creative and web design, game development, museums, libraries and archiving, performing arts, film and music,
hairdressing and beauty therapy, communications, recreational facilities/venues and sportCompetenz (journalism, graphic design, and signmaking)HITOServiceIQ (museum)Skills ActiveSome design, web and animation qualifications currently developed by NZQAPrimary IndustriesAgriculture, horticulture, fishing, aquaculture, equine, silviculture and harvesting, and sports turf managementCompetenz (forestry, and biosecurity)Primary ITO (except petrochemicals, energy and chemical plant, seafood processing, dairy processing, and meat processing)Service IndustriesWholesale trade, retail trade, accommodation and food services, tourism, cleaning, rental, hiring/leasing and real
estate services, contact centres, business services, and financial servicesCareerforce (cleaning and caretaking, urban pest management)ServiceIQ (exceptmuseum, andaviation)The Skills Organisation (security, contact centres, real estate, and financial services)Business and administrative qualifications currently developed by NZQAHealth, Community and Social ServicesHealth care, social support services, funeral and embalming, offender management, emergency services, and educationCareerforce (exceptcleaning and caretaking, and urban pest management)Funeral ITOThe Skills Organisation (a range of community and social services)Education and childcare qualifications developed by NZQAManufacturing, Engineering, Logistics and TechnologyManufacturing and processing, extractives and drilling, transport (including heavy and commercial), postal, warehousing,
engineering, and information and communications technology (development and systems engineering) industriesCompetenz (except lift and escalator servicing, forestry, biosecurity, journalism, graphic design, and signmaking)MITONZMACITOPrimary ITO (petrochemicals, energy and chemical plant, seafood processing, dairy processing, and meat processing)ServiceIQ (aviation)Some ICT qualifications developed by NZQAConstruction and InfrastructureConstruction (including heavy, civil and residential) and associated industries and trades, and infrastructure including
water supply, electricity and gas transmission, road and bridge building, and sewageBCITOCompetenz (lift and escalator servicing)ConnexisThe Skills Organisation (construction-related industries, e.g. plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying, electrical services, scaffolding, etc.)