Thu 12 Dec 2019

WITT shares transition strategy at national Zero Carbon conference

WITT chief executive John Snook spoke about the role of vocational education in bringing New Zealand to its zero carbon target during a national conference last week.

John was part of the Leaders’ Panel at Net Zero New Zealand: The Emissions Workshop - a conference designed to help large New Zealand organisations transition and take their place in a low-carbon economy.

“My role at the conference was to help people grasp the role that vocational education will play in making the change – the ‘Just Transition’ – to a low emissions economy,” John said.

“Education is a critical enabler to achieve the government’s target of carbon neutrality by 2050. WITT’s job is to help future proof the region by growing the workforce needed for this future, which will look quite different to what we’re accustomed to.

“The Just Transition needs to be exactly that; ‘just’. It needs to be a fair, equitable and inclusive process that’s planned carefully, but we are running out of time. We need to get the ball rolling to avoid a shock and mass unemployment as we transition.

“Our attention is on upskilling the existing workforce to ensure they’re not left behind in the transition, and develop new graduates with the skills required for the future so that they’re set up to succeed. We want them walking out of here with the right qualifications for New Zealand’s future.”

Taranaki was well represented at the conference, with Justine Gilliand, Chief Executive of Venture Taranaki, and Arun Chaudhari, CEO of the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce, also in attendance.

“We are leading the way here in Taranaki. We are working as one to help shape the pathway to the Zero Carbon target,” John said.

The conference audience was made up of 140 delegates, including leaders from a range of large organisations and sectors such as councils, iwi, airports and infrastructure.