Thu 1 Aug 2019

RoVE announcement a positive move

The Government’s decision announced on 1 August to forge ahead with RoVE - the restructure of tertiary education - has been hailed in Taranaki as the most significant move in the sector for a generation.

Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki chief executive John Snook said merging the country’s 16 polytechnics would have an extraordinary flow-on effect and the Government had done what Polytechnics should have done years ago.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the three key proposals he tabled - redefining roles for industry bodies and education providers, merging polytechnics and ITOs and developing a unified vocational sector funding model - would go ahead and the new regime would commence from April next year.

Venture Taranaki chief executive Justine Gilliland welcomed the announcement and the opportunity to move vocational education into the future aligned with the region’s needs.

Mr Snook said the reforms confirm WITT’s role as the vocational provider for the region in partnership with economic development.

The reforms also compliment WITT’s relationship with Māori and its support for Tapuae Roa.  Tapuae Roa is a collaboration of regional and central government, Venture Taranaki, iwi and business which seeks to unlock Taranaki’s potential and opportunities.

“I am delighted to hear the commitment to on-job and off-job training – it is the future of work,” Mr Snook said.

“The announcement also underlined the Government’s commitment to enabling the regions to continue to have a major stake in how tertiary education is delivered. My message to students and employers is that this is business as usual, and it’s about to get a lot better at WITT.”

The Reform of Vocational Education will see the establishment of a New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST) as a result of the merger of 16 polytechnics and 11 Industry Training Organisations (ITO). It will impact on more than 25,000 employers and 140,000 learners.

“For WITT it is a win for Taranaki, and for Taranaki it is a win for its present and future workforce and employers – this is a most exciting time,” Mr Snook said.

The reforms would enable Polytechnics to get back to their core business of vocational education and training – upskilling existing workers and enrolling students who would join the workforce with skills valued and needed by employers.

“Polytechnics are not Universities and should never have tried to become them,” Mr Snook said.