November 15th, 2011
The Review of Industry Training
Update: Ministry of Education has released an industry training discussion document and is seeking feedback. You can read our submission for feedback here
The Government is reviewing the contribution of Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) and Modern Apprenticeship Coordinators (MACs) with the purpose of finding ways to improve the value of Government’s investment in industry training. An admirable objective but industry is a heavy investor in vocational training and its voice is in danger of being lost.
Government should take a moment to stand in the shoes of employers and take note of the fact that the greatest investment and skills transfer happens in the workplace – by employers, in their workplace, using their investment in plant or equipment, and at their cost. Industry is entitled to a voice – through ITOs – just as government is entitled to value for what it purchases.
The issues, which we explore in our submission are:
There are too many ITOs
– companies have to deal with too many different approaches to training, back office costs are duplicated and efficiencies of scale through rational consolidation are not achieved.
The duplication through Modern Apprenticeship Coordinators adds confusion and cost
– and ITOs have no control over the performance of MACs and yet ITOs are measured on a MAC’s performance.
Funding rates add friction.
Vocational training on-the job attracts one government funding rate – the STM. The STM rate is not enough for ITOs to deliver on their statutory obligations – and buy block courses, support numeracy and literacy skills building, support under-represented groups, and support under 21s. Funding could be graduated to reflect government objectives and be fair to employers.
The cost to employers is too high
, particularly for vocational education in areas requiring high investment from employers like mechanical engineering. Our research shows the employer contribution could be as high as 60% – with limited productivity for the first half of an apprenticeship. Graduated funding to reflect the true cost of training would ease the burden and encourage building a skilled workforce.
Improving productivity through transferable skills.
New Zealand needs to upskill and to do this, training needs to be delivered to national standards with training delivered when companies want it, how they want it and how much they want.
Quality, quality, quality.
Industry needs to determine the standard of qualifications to reflect the capacity and standards they require. This needs to be backed up with robust moderation by ITOs to protect industry’s – and government’s – investment.
The system to progress from school to work and a qualification is unclear.
Students and parents need clarity around the best paths to employment – keeping in mind that vocational education happens on the job.
Our submission supports industry, through its ITO, having a voice in industry training. ITOs provide a collective, credible and knowledgeable voice for industry – a voice which we should ensure is maintained and not diluted.
Click here to download the full document