Korero about the future of Vocational Learning in Taranaki

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Te Pūkenga leaders are visiting Western Institute of Technology in New Plymouth today, talking with our people from the network and learners about the future of vocational learning and the work underway to build it.

Te Pūkenga is a new national entity established by the government to unite polytechnics and industry training organisations around the country into a national network. It will be easily accessible to learners while meeting the needs of employers.  

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a vocational learning system that is simple to navigate, responds to the needs of a diverse range of learners and employers and is flexible enough to change as the future develops,” Deputy Chief Executive Learner Journey and Experience, Tania Winslade said.

“If we’re going to achieve the goals we’ve set ourselves, we need to engage often with groups right across Aotearoa. We need to bring together the perspectives of our learners and their whānau, our people, employers, regions and communities, and Māori. That’s why I’m in New Plymouth today with my colleagues, and why Te Pūkenga leadership are visiting 16 locations this month.”

“We need to be purposeful and use our collective experience to lift the bar for vocational learning, particularly for ākonga Māori, Pacific, and disabled learners. Designing that system takes time and commitment from a broad range of people – and we’ve seen passion to be a part of that,” Ms Winslade said.

At WITT, kōrero focused on the development of the operating model as well as the learner insights gathered through nation-wide research that put learners at the centre.

“This is incredibly important mahi that will help shape the future of vocational learning. We know there’s a strong desire to know what the future looks like – we’re looking forward to providing an update on the next six to eight months, which includes co-design work on the operating model,” Tania Winslade said.

WITT Chief Executive John Snook said that not only is Te Kura Matatini o Taranaki (WITT) fully supporting the mahi that brings Te Pūkenga to Taranaki, WITT has always supported the Minister’s vision for the Reform of Vocational Education.

“WITT has worked closely with our schools, Venture Taranaki, District Councils and more recently Iwi, to ensure that the region gets access to the quality tertiary education it needs in order to "power up" the economy through the Just Transition process. 

“Strategically, WITT has adopted Te Korowai Mātauranga o Taranaki as its approach. We are now busy working closely with Te Pūkenga and the community to put that cloak in place, wrapping the region in fit-for-purpose, accessible tertiary education and training.”

Once fully established, Te Pūkenga will be New Zealand’s largest tertiary provider and the 35th largest globally. On 1 April 2020, New Zealand’s 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics became subsidiaries of Te Pūkenga. From 1 Jan 2023 all learners will be enrolled at Te Pūkenga.


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