Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education


BCITO apprentices in Mt Maunganui. Photo BCITO
BCITO apprentices in Mt Maunganui. Photo BCITO

Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said these industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2000 employers in a range of activities that will help the students find out what different industries are all about.

“This is on top of the 85,000 students and 4000 employers who will benefit from the schools-based events we announced earlier this year, and further demonstrates this government’s commitment to promoting vocational education to young people, and boosting the numbers of people studying the skills we need in the workforce,” said Hipkins.

The 257 industry-led events, which will be run by 32 industry bodies, industry training organisations (ITOs), community groups, local government and other organisations, will allow industry to connect students, teachers and whānau to their work, and showcase the great opportunities that exist in their sectors.

“The events will include a range of strategically important sectors including construction and infrastructure, primary industries, engineering (including automotive), social and community services, tourism, retail and hospitability, and the technology and creative sectors,” Hipkins said.

“The Reform of Vocational Education places a strong emphasis on the role of employers and industry to take a lead in the future of their industry training. The interest from organisations wanting to run these events has been strong and we are pleased to be able to help fund them across New Zealand.”

He said these events will provide opportunities for young people or their teachers to connect to the world of work and explore industry-specific careers while in school, and showcase trades and service industry careers to young people and their families and whānau and educators.

Warwick Quinn, chief executive of Building & Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) said he’s proud to support the Government and employers in the construction industry by being part of this innovative initiative.

“With more than 80,000 new and replacement job openings predicted in the construction industry in the next five years, these career seeker events are a fantastic way to introduce people eager for an apprenticeship and a successful trade career to employers who are focused on training the skilled industry workforce we need to meet demand,” Quinn said.

The employer and industry-led events are part of a range of Government initiatives aimed at promoting trades and work skills training, including:

  • funding 2000 more Trades Academy places from next year and up to 2000 more places for Gateway
  • supporting more than 350 schools to run their own local trades promotion events within their school/kura or within their Kāhui Ako
  • creating a new education-to-employment brokerage service with brokers building strong local relationships with businesses and schools and acting as a liaison between schools and employers to highlight local trades and vocational opportunities for students
  • developing a marketing campaign to promote vocational careers to students, parents, whānau, teachers and employers, and
  • reviewing secondary-tertiary funding and support arrangements with a view to improving school students’ access to secondary-tertiary and workplace learning.