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MITO critical of proposed reforms

MITO critical of proposed reforms

NZ Truck & Driver News

 April 2019   
Industry training organisation MITO is concerned that wide-ranging reforms proposed to vocational education in New Zealand are "a step too far."

It believes that the proposed changes "will exacerbate skills shortages, seriously undermine the apprenticeship and training system.

"The current apprenticeship and training model managed by industry training organisations is effective and economically lean, but has been completely sidelined in the new proposals," says MITO chief executive Janet Lane.

For every $1million invested in the tertiary sector, training arranged by industry training organisations (ITOs) qualifies 300 skilled workers, compared to 50 qualified by polytechnics, she says.

The proposal is for ITOs to be disbanded and the responsibility of developing qualifications transferred to Industry Skills Bodies – with the delivery of training managed by one national institution, combining the current 16 polytechnics. 

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Industry training organisation MITO is concerned that wide-ranging reforms proposed to vocational education in New Zealand are "a step too far."
It believes that the proposed changes "will exacerbate skills shortages, seriously undermine the apprenticeship and training system.
"The current apprenticeship and training model managed by industry training organisations is effective and economically lean, but has been completely sidelined in the new proposals," says MITO chief executive Janet Lane.
For every $1million invested in the tertiary sector, training arranged by industry training organisations (ITOs) qualifies 300 skilled workers, compared to 50 qualified by polytechnics, she says.
The proposal is for ITOs to be disbanded and the responsibility of developing qualifications transferred to Industry Skills Bodies – with the delivery of training managed by one national institution, combining the current 16 polytechnics. 
Under this structure, the national institution would take over the current 145,000 apprentices and trainees (with 25,000 employers), plus the existing 110,000 polytechnic enrolments.
Says Lane: "ITOs already work with industry effectively to develop the workforce development outcomes required through qualifications and training programmes. We provide training resources and assessment, often online, and we visit the apprentice and their employer in the workplace, where the training happens. Our educational performance indicators highlight our value and effectiveness.
"The polytechnic sector is in a perilous state; $100m in extra funding has been invested in four polytechnics over the past year, with more under siege. We agree that the polytechnic sector needs to be stabilised. It will take some time to consolidate the sector. This should be the paramount priority and the first step in future-proofing these valued community resources.
"The next step needs wider consultation, with options for industry to consider. Simply transferring 145,000 ITO apprentices and learners to a newly-formed national institution will create unnecessary disruption in this period of significant skills shortages across industries in NZ.
"The proposals represent the largest shift in NZ's tertiary education and training system in over 25 years." MITO, she says, doesn't believe that a six-week period for consultation provides sufficient time for "robust debate and meaningful consideration of the far-reaching implications."  


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