Last updated 20 May 2020

The Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) represents a generational change in how vocational training is delivered in New Zealand, and will create a stronger, more unified, and sustainable vocational education system. The transition to the new system is not expected to be completed until December 2022, and we are committed to keeping all stakeholders informed of progress throughout. Please check this page regularly for updates.

Support the Establishment of Workforce Development Councils, Expressions of Interest Now Sought

The recent Government announcement signalled a big step forward for the vocational education and training system, with the decision to fast-track establishment of the six new Workforce Development Councils by the target date of October 2020, ahead of the original target of mid-2021.

We encourage you to consider an involvement in the interim Establishment Board (iEB) for the Health, Community and Social Services Workforce Development Council (or the Services WDC for our cleaning employers). It is critical that these new entities are industry led.

The establishment of six workforce development councils is a key element of the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE). For the sectors that we currently represent, this includes one for Health, Community and Social Services, while the cleaning sector will fall within the new Services WDC.

Six skills-based WDC interim Establishment Boards (iEB’s), made up of industry members, will be appointed in June 2020 to help stand up the WDCs. iEB members will be appointed by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) through an Expression of Interest (EoI) process, running 18 May – 2 June.

The TEC is particularly looking for experienced individuals from industry who have the following skills:

  • Strong connections to industry – people whose application is supported by their industry association, membership body, advisory group, employer collective, Māori employer and industry groups, transitional Industry Training Organisation or other wider stakeholder groups.
  • Governance experience – industry leaders who have experience, and are comfortable in being part of a ‘working board’ and have a working knowledge of governance structures and arrangements.
  • Good communication and collaboration skills.
  • Knowledge of skills development and vocational education.

We strongly encourage you to consider how you could contribute to the establishment of either the Health, Community, and Social Services WDC, or the Services WDC. To review the criteria, better understand what would be involved, and to apply via the EoI form, go to the TEC website.  Expressions of interest are open until 9am, Tuesday 2 June.

To find out more about WDCs, check out this TEC video.


February 2019
Minister Chris Hipkins announced proposed sweeping reforms to the entire vocational education system, aimed at creating a stronger, more unified, and sustainable vocational education system.

August 2019
Following a period of public consultation, these reforms were largely confirmed to proceed.

  • Industry Training Organisations (11) will be disestablished
  • The 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) will be merged into a single NZ Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST), and will assume responsibility for supporting both workplace-based (on-job) training, and classroom-based (off-job) training
  • Between 4 – 7 Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) will be established, and will assume responsibility for skills leadership and standard setting*
  • Unified funding system, that funds all provider-based education and all industry training (levels 2-7)

December 2019
*In December 2019 Education Minister, Chris Hipkins, announced that there will be six industry-led Workforce Development Councils, one of which will be for Health, Community & Social Services, which encompasses most of Careerforce’s current coverage. Careerforce currently also has cleaning within its coverage, but the changes announced will see this sector fall within a Service Industries Workforce Development Council.

April 2020 – legislation passed, NZIST created (with ITP’s becoming subsidiaries) Refer website

April 2020 – ITOs became Transitional ITOs (TITOs)

Transitional Industry Training Organisations (TITO’s)

Effective 1 April 2020, all ITOs, including Careerforce, became TITOs, or Transitional Industry Training Organisations. This change simply allows for the necessary transitions to take place, and has no other impact on our organisation or operations.

While the recent Budget announcement will see transition timeframes escalated for the skills leadership and standard setting functions within Careerforce (to a WDC), the transition timeframe for our arranging training function remains the same, and is not expected to be completed until December 2022.

Our focus remains very much on supporting the immediate workforce development needs of our employers, and supporting our trainees and apprentices on their training journeys with us.

What’s next

These reforms represent a generational change in vocational education, and we will be working closely with officials over coming months to jointly develop the reform implementation plans.

Transition timeframes will vary across each ITO, and we will continue to provide you with regular updates, but can’t emphasise enough in the meantime that transition timeframes are long, and we should all continue with business as usual.

  • October 2020 – all WDCs established
  • December 2022 – transition of workplace-based training from TITOs to NZIST (or other providers) completed

More information

For further information please visit the Ministry of Education website and the TEC website

If you have any questions, please contact your Workplace Advisor or email us at