Don’t forget that people in Marlborough will have an opportunity to feed into the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) consultation in Blenheim on Monday 25 March from 4.00pm – 5.00pm. The consultation will take place at the Marlborough District Council Offices, 15 Seymour Street, Blenheim.
Note: There is a limited amount of visitor parking behind the Council Offices (free parking for 90 minutes on Council business) and also a multi-storey car park behind the Council, which is a $1/hour. There is also street parking in the vicinity.
If you want to have your say but are not able to attend the meeting you can go online to submit(external link).
Submission dates have been extended until 5 April.
15 March 2019
There were over 100 attendees at the RoVE consultation sessions held yesterday in Nelson with consistent feedback from the community including:
Thank you to all those that attended and remember you can still provide feedback on proposals online before 27 March on the Education Conversations website(external link).
Members of the Marlborough community can attend consultation on Monday 25 March between 4.00 – 5.00 pm at the Marlborough District Offices, 15 Seymour Street.
11 March 2019
While the formal RoVE consultation process with officials and members of the community is underway, Chief Executives of the ITPs are also working in the background with officials to help firm up proposals and ensure good outcomes. Last week Liam Sloan, CE of NMIT sat alongside seven other ITP CEs and two officials in a workshop session facilitated by PWC.
The workshop focus was on contributing CE knowledge and expertise to the functional design process, with a specific emphasis on high level optionality for the proposed New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. It is proposed that the Institute will be formed from a merger of the 16 existing ITPs and it is this key change that NMIT has the most concern over.
NMIT concerns are around loss of autonomy and the creation of a large administrative function that reduces capacity for nimbleness and flexibility. NMIT also want to make sure funds generated in the Nelson Marlborough region, remain available for the sole use and benefit of the region and that any new structure adopts areas of expertise from each of the ITPs to make the most excellent components already in place, mandatory across the country.
CEs spent time thinking about the implications of three potential formats - a centralised system, a decentralised system and a regional accountability system in relation to:
Don't forget, the official RoVE consultation for Nelson Marlborough region will take place in Nelson on Thursday 14 March from 5.00 pm – 7.00 pm at NMIT 322 Hardy Street, Nelson.
Liam Sloan, CE, NMIT
08 March 2019
New Zealand polytechnics are facing the most significant sector change in decades. The Reform of Vocational Education, or RoVE, was announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins in February and the impact of the proposed reforms will be far reaching.
The proposed reforms include three key changes, with the most significant for NMIT’s future being the merger of the 16 existing Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs), including NMIT, and the establishment of a central New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology to govern them.
The other two proposed changes include replacing the current Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) with Industry Skills Bodies, with industry skills training rolled into the local ITPs, such as NMIT and implementation of a unified vocational education funding system.
There is no doubt that the sector requires changes to operations to ensure that as a country our learners, wherever they are based, receive the ultimate vocational training, support and guidance to meet their individual requirements.
NMIT has experience of apprenticeship delivery and I believe we do this particularly well. We focus on the development of vocational opportunities which includes industry skills training. Our goal has always been to be the provider of choice for high quality and relevant training across Te Tau Ihu. This is particularly evident in our unique offerings and specialisations including aquaculture, viticulture and wine, maritime, aviation engineering and conservation. We support the Minister in the goal of rolling skills training into the local ITP and we look forward to continuing to work in close partnership with ITOs to make delivery of these skills to our learners more targeted and specialised. These offerings help to make NMIT unique and our region is well placed to support this specialised training.
While NMIT is in a sound financial position, we agree that a unified vocational education funding system is a necessity. There are clear benefits in this proposal to enable a level of equity across all learners in the sector, wherever they choose to study. We acknowledge that learners in other ITPs have faced uncertainties over the years as funding and delivery issues have created disruption. No learner should have to be grappling with these issues at the same time as they are furthering their skill base and laying their pathways for future success.
However, if a unified education funding system is implemented, then it needs to be expanded to not just cover vocational training but to allow for the delivery of work ready graduates. By this we mean the teaching of work ready skills that include things like critical thinking, problem solving, emotional intelligence and service orientation. These skills are crucial but are not currently a priority for delivery under current funding models. It is hoped that a revised and unified model will take these proposed enhancements into account for delivery by all ITPs. NMIT is committed to preparing world and work ready graduates and a change to the funding model could further support us in this goal.
We also hope that a new unified funding model will provide a platform for addressing parity of outcomes. It is hoped that funding will be available for learners who require varying degrees of learning support to guide them on the pathway to success.
The establishment of a single New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology providing shared governance to the current 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs), including NMIT, is the proposal that creates the greatest level of concern for us. As an Institute that has successfully delivered for many decades, we are concerned about the potential loss of our autonomy. NMIT has always been placed in the upper quartile of ITPs for course and qualification completion rates. There is no reason to change our governance structure.
We are financially “fit” and we have concerns that with the establishment of a single governing entity, any future surplus delivered by NMIT may be channelled into national delivery outcomes. It is our strong view that profit generated by NMIT should remain within our region, returning benefits to those within our catchment.
We also require reassurance that a single Institute will retain the nimbleness and flexibility that makes us good at what we do. NMIT does not want to get caught up in a bureaucratic centralised model that slows us down. While we are not saying this provision is a show stopper, we do want the reassurance that the benefits will outweigh the potential negative consequences. The new governing body must be enabled and mandated to deliver swiftly on change.
Of equal importance to NMIT is the maintenance of our business intelligence and learner analytics expertise. We are acknowledged for providing strong leadership in this area and we certainly don’t want to lose this advantage, or have it swept into a centralised reporting system. In the same vein we have also provided leadership in monitoring, managing and improving performance through a sophisticated data dashboard and data intelligence.
We hope and envisage that the new structure will pick up areas of expertise within each of the ITPs and make the most excellent components mandatory across the country. We need to ensure that centralisation will bring everyone up to an aspirational standard rather than drag existing standards down. NMIT will willingly share the knowledge and expertise we have developed with other ITPs just as we would be keen to take on board any efficiencies others can bring to the table.
Our message to the Ministry is don’t allow the individual strengths and uniqueness of each ITP to get lost in the reform. Capture them and apply them across the board to enable us to grow from equally strong foundations while retaining our regional identity.
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