Public Submissions closed Friday 5 April

Business as Usual for Careerforce as Proposed Reforms are likely to have a 2-5 Year Timeframe

It’s very much business as usual for Careerforce as the Government works through the proposed Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) submissions. Minister Hipkins and Ministry officials have been very clear that should various aspects of the reforms proceed as proposed, any transition of trainees to the proposed New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology would not be rushed and will likely have a 2-5 year timeframe. For more information, see Media Release.

Careerforce Response to the Proposed Reform of Vocation Education

Please download the Careerforce submission here.


Careerforce urges the Minister to slow down, and take a more considered approach that takes into account much wider consultation, to avoid the risk of dismantling the very aspects of vocational education that are working in an effort to salvage the part that isn’t.

Industry training is working effectively. There is significant risk of major disruption to workforce development at a time when our sectors can least afford it. Careerforce sectors require an additional 88,000 skilled workers over the next five years.

Industry training is very cost effective, and Careerforce sector organisations are very cost-constrained. There is a risk for employer costs to increase, which would have the unintended consequence of reducing training. More cost modelling is encouraged.

The combination of the core ITO functions of setting skill standards, and supporting workplace training is a virtuous loop, with each feeding the other. It creates a model of continuous improvement that will be severed should the reforms proceed as proposed.

Please check out the quick video that captures the key points


Careerforce Media Releases in response to the Vocational Education and Training Reform

(dated 17 April 2019) “2-5 year timeframe if proposed vocational reforms proceed”

(dated 5 April 2019) “Time for Government to listen to the concerns of those at the coalface of vocational training”

(dated 31 March 2019) “Industry training reform a risk to sectors that care for our most vulnerable New Zealanders”

What is the VET reform about?

Education Minister Chris Hipkins released a proposal for consultation on 13 Feb 2019 to reform Vocational Education & Training (VET). The proposal has drawn significant media coverage.

The proposal makes three recommendations:

1/ Redefining the roles of education providers and Industry Training Organisations (ITO’s), and creating new Industry Skills Bodies
2/ Merging the 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP’s) into one Institute of Skills & Technology (IST)
3/ Creating a unified vocational education funding system

You can read more about it here.

Download Careerforce VET Overview

What does it mean for employers, trainees and apprentices?

This is a proposal that has been put out for consultation, and which has caused significant consternation from many parties.

For Careerforce, and for our employers, trainees and apprentices, it remains business as usual, and we can make an absolute commitment to you that existing and new trainees will not be detrimentally affected regardless of outcomes. Any training programmes will be completed, and qualifications awarded.

Should the proposal proceed as outlined, the outcome is that current ITO trainees and apprentices (approx. 140,000) will be transitioned across to the proposed New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology entity. This would not be for some time down the track.

What does it mean for Careerforce?

We are still working to understand the proposed reforms and what they mean for Careerforce.

We will keep you updated as more information comes in.

Where can I find more information?

Careerforce communications to employers

Education Minister’s press release

Government’s information for learners

Government’s information for employers

Please feel free to contact Careerforce with your ideas and thoughts, just email