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6 September 2021


In February 2019, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE); the purpose of which is to create a strong, unified, and sustainable vocational education system that is fit for the future of work and delivers the skills that learners, employers and communities need to thrive.

Industry Training Organisations such as Careerforce have two core responsibilities, both of which are required to be transitioned as part of RoVE. The first of these, its standard setting responsibilities is set to transition to the newly formed Workforce Development Councils on 4 October 2021.

Careerforce is required to present a proposal to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) for the transition of its second core function, that of “arranging training”. In July 2021, it undertook extensive stakeholder engagement, to outline three possible options and sought feedback on employers preferences on the following:


1/ Transition to Te Pūkenga, the new organisation created by the merger of the 16 Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology

2/ Transition to Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

3/ Transition from Careerforce as an Industry Training Organisation (ITO), to Careerforce as a Private Training Establishment (PTE)


The Careerforce Board has now carefully considered all the feedback received, and have made the decision that their proposed pathway to the TEC Board will be that Careerforce transition its arranging training function to Te Pūkenga.

Board Chair Fiona Pimm explained their decision,

The TEC have advised on numerous occasions that their strong preference was for Careerforce to transition to Te Pūkenga, and accordingly, it was always felt that it would require a very strong mandate from our sectors to continue proposing the PTE option to TEC. While the Careerforce PTE option did get a strong show of support, we did not feel it provided a sufficiently strong mandate. We also feel that this decision is in line with the Government’s vision of a fully unified vocational education system.”

The ITO thanks all participants who provided feedback, and acknowledges the many people and organisations who provided letters of endorsement for Careerforce to pursue the PTE pathway. Careerforce acknowledges that this decision may come as a disappointment to some, but can provide an absolute assurance that they will continue to champion the needs of the sectors it represents as the RoVE reforms are implemented, and that they don’t expect there to be any noticeable changes upon current arrangements for some time.


Next Steps?

Based upon the Board’s decision, Careerforce will now develop and submit its proposed transition plan to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Only once this plan is approved by the TEC Board can Careerforce confirm this transition plan. This is expected to happen over the coming months. On the assumption that the plan receives TEC’s approval, Careerforce will become a business unit within the Workplace Based Learning (WBL) subsidiary of Te Pūkenga, sitting alongside other transitioned ITOs.


What will transition look like?

It is still Careerforce’s intention not to transition the arranging training function until late in 2022. At this time, Careerforce would undertake a ‘lift and shift’ transition into Te Pūkenga. Post-transition, it is expected that employers and trainees should not notice much difference for some time, if any. All Careerforce staff, systems and processes will simply transition across, and work will continue as it does today.



All media enquiries please contact Paul Williams, General Manager Marketing, Communications & Insights on 027 600 7395, or at  

Careerforce is the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for the health, mental health, youth work, disability, social services and cleaning sectors. Careerforce support employers across New Zealand’s health and wellbeing sectors to run workplace training programmes, allowing staff to achieve nationally recognised qualifications on and off the job. We are the Government appointed body that sets skill standards, develops and facilitates achievement of NZQA qualifications across all our sectors. For more information please see: