Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs)

Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs)

Last updated 4 December 2019
Last updated 4 December 2019

Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) will play a significant role in driving innovation and excellence in vocational education, by strengthening links with industry and communities.

The first two CoVEs will be a Construction CoVE and a Primary Sector CoVE. Funding is available through an upcoming application and selection process.

We recently held a series of CoVEs workshops and webinars to discuss the potential scope and functions of CoVEs. About 168 stakeholders from primary and construction sectors were involved. These included industry representatives, peak bodies, iwi, education and training organisations (ITPs, ITOs, wānanga, PTEs, schools and universities), employers, unions, the Institute’s establishment board, and government agencies. From here, parties interested in forming a CoVE can register their interest through a process detailed on the TEC website. Read the summary of findings (PPT, 6.4 Mb) and find new Q&As below.

What is a CoVE?

A CoVE is a consortium of experts from across a sector who join together to grow excellent vocational education provision and share high-quality curriculum and programme design across the vocational education system. This will include the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (the Institute), other providers, the new Workforce Development Councils, industry experts and researchers.

Each CoVE will be hosted by a regional campus of the Institute or by a wānanga.

The specific scope and other functions of each CoVE will be determined through a consultation and co-design process which will then inform the selection process. Each CoVE is intended to have a limited lifespan, responding to a specific challenge or opportunity.

Industry needs will inform the function and form of each CoVE 

We will be meeting with stakeholders to understand what areas each CoVE should cover and what function each could perform. We want to hear how CoVEs can be used to drive innovation and excellence in vocational education and improve links to industry and communities. There may be specific issues or opportunities that a CoVE could address.

Ideally the Construction and Primary Sector CoVEs should respond to issues or opportunities that have wide application rather than a limited occupational scope; however, this will be determined through the consultation process.

How you can help shape the CoVEs to meet your sector needs

We’d like to hear from interested parties that have an idea for a CoVE, or have identified an issue or opportunity a CoVE might address. This might be in relation to the first two CoVEs (Primary Sector and Construction), or you might be thinking further ahead to subsequent CoVEs.

We also want to hear your thoughts, in relation to the Primary Sector and Construction CoVEs, on:

  • the functions each CoVE should undertake
  • the scope of coverage for each CoVE
  • who should be involved
  • how long the CoVE should run for
  • location
  • what makes a successful CoVE (and how to measure this)

Please contact us with your feedback on these matters at CoVEs@tec.govt.nz. Please indicate which CoVE your suggestions relate to: Primary Sector, Construction or a potential future CoVE. Please include your name, your organisation and contact details in case we need to get hold of you to seek clarification or further comment.

How to be part of a CoVE

We also want to work with groups that are considering forming a consortium to apply to establish the Primary Sector or Construction CoVE. We will be holding co-design workshops with Primary Sector and Construction stakeholders. If you would like to be involved in a co-design workshop and haven’t heard from us, please let us know by emailing CoVEs@tec.govt.nz.

We will progressively publish findings from our consultation and co-design workshops on this website and explain how these will be used to shape our selection processes.

TEC’s role is to facilitate co-design discussions for the CoVEs, and enable the forming up of consortium groups that will apply for CoVE funding. We will run a two-stage process (registration of interest and a request for proposals) to select which consortium groups we will fund. Once selected, the consortium will establish the CoVE and operate it, reporting to TEC periodically on milestones set out in the funding agreement.

Indicative timeline

We will update this timeline with more detailed information as we move through the design phase.

Activity Indicative date
Consultation and co-design of Primary Sector and Construction CoVEs October and November
Registration of interest process opens December
Registrations of interest due February
Selected applicants invited to submit detailed proposals February
Detailed proposals due March
Enter into funding contract with successful consortium May
Consortia start establishing Primary Sector and Construction CoVEs May

 

Read the news article - First CoVEs announced by Minister of Education

Centres of Vocational Excellence - Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ section will be added to as new questions are received. Please email your questions to CoVEs@tec.govt.nz.   

What is a CoVE?

A Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) is a group from across a sector that works together to:

  • grow excellent vocational provision, and
  • share high-quality curriculum and programme design across the vocational education system.

Each CoVE will include the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (the Institute), other providers, the new Workforce Development Councils (WDCs), industry experts and researchers.

Each CoVE will be hosted by a regional campus of the Institute, or by a wānanga. Each CoVE will be intended to have a finite lifespan based on a specific challenge or opportunity.

We expect that further CoVEs will be established in 2020/21, but the industry focus of these CoVEs is still to be confirmed.

How many CoVEs will there be? What will they cover?

Cabinet has approved funding for two initial pilot CoVEs. These will be a Primary Sector CoVE and a Construction CoVE. A Health CoVE is also being considered.

There will eventually be a network of CoVEs across New Zealand. The total number of CoVEs is yet to be determined and could be subject to change over time.

The scope of coverage of future CoVEs could be defined by industry, occupation, or by type of delivery, for example: kaupapa Māori, online learning, or foundation education.

The specific scope of coverage for, and functions of, each CoVE will be tailored to ensure that the CoVE is a genuine centre of excellence. The parameters will be developed by TEC in consultation with significant stakeholder groups. The specific details of each CoVE should be generated by applicants, rather than tightly specified by government.

What are the functions of the Primary Sector CoVE and the Construction CoVE?

The scope and other functions of the Primary Sector and Construction CoVEs have not been set by the government. We will develop the parameters for each CoVE through consultation and co-design with significant stakeholders, and based on feedback from interested parties. The specific details of what each CoVE will do, its outcomes, the function it will perform, where it will be hosted, and who else will be involved, will be generated by applicants as part of the registration of interest process.

How will you select who will run each CoVE?

TEC will run a selection process to select the consortium groups that will run each CoVE. The selection process will consist of a registration of interest round, followed by a request for proposal round.

The indicative timeframes for these processes in relation to the Primary Sector CoVE and Construction CoVE are set out on our website.

Each CoVE will be a consortium made up of interested parties relevant to the subject area of the CoVE. The contractual lead for the CoVE will be the Institute (or its subsidiary), or a wānanga.

[Please note – this section was updated on 25 October 2019]

Who will CoVEs report to?

The management and governance arrangements for each CoVE will be a matter for consortium groups to determine as part of the design and application process.

CoVEs will be required to report to TEC periodically about the KPIs and milestones set out in their funding agreement with TEC.

What funding is available for CoVEs?

There is $5m of funding available per year, for up to five years, for the first two pilot CoVEs. It is expected that CoVE consortium members will also contribute or source additional financial support to the CoVE.

Funding will be appropriated for subsequent CoVEs in due course.

How can I give feedback on what the CoVEs should do?

You can email your feedback to CoVEs@tec.govt.nz.  

We will run face to face workshops, depending on interest in this. If you wish to take part in a workshop, please let us know by emailing CoVEs@tec.govt.nz.

We’ll also be meeting with groups as part of the wider RoVE consultation.

How can I apply to set up a CoVE?

We will commence a formal selection process for the Primary Sector and Construction CoVEs in late 2019.

Information about the application process will be published on our website in November.

What are the selection criteria?

The detailed formal selection criteria are yet to be developed, however, they are likely to include an assessment of how well a consortium’s application:

  • provides a level of additionality beyond what is already expected from the system
  • demonstrates how the growth, development, and sharing of best practice provision will be achieved, and includes input from relevant industry experts and leaders
  • identifies challenges to, or opportunities for, the industry within the area of vocational education
  • demonstrates how these challenges or opportunities are of strategic importance to New Zealand
  • shows how the applicant will use collaborative partnership-based approaches to solve the challenges or leverage the opportunities
  • details solutions that are practical and time-bound with clear measures of success
  • shows evidence of sourcing additional financial support from consortium members (from industry and/or providers), and
  • demonstrates the ability of the consortium to undertake the required functions of the CoVE.

Why was construction chosen as one of the first CoVEs?

Primary and construction are important areas where we need skills to ensure a strong, sustainable New Zealand. An estimated 80,000 new workers are required in construction alone over the next five years. The industry needs significant focus and innovation to solve problems and create opportunities that attract new skilled workers and provide more training.

Does the construction CoVE include infrastructure?

The term ‘Construction CoVE’ includes both construction and infrastructure.

Is there an overlap of roles and responsibilities between the WDCs and CoVEs?   

A CoVE will be most valuable if it doesn’t duplicate other activities carried out in the system including the WDCs which will be four to seven industry-governed bodies dedicated to helping industry take a lead in making New Zealand’s workforce fit for today and the future. Read more information about the function of WDCs.

This does not limit the CoVE in assisting other parts of the system with aspects of their role, for example through identifying best practice, innovations or carrying out research, but its role must remain independent of other parts of the new Vocational Education System. 

Can CoVEs include degree level and university provision?

The Reform of Vocational Education is generally related to industry training and off-the-job education at non-degree NZQF levels 3 to 7. However, it may be beneficial for CoVEs to cover some degree-level university supply. If degree-level study is included within the CoVE function, universities may want to be involved.    

The construction sector is very fragmented. How can we tackle this issue?

The formation of the Construction Sector Accord and the Food & Fibre Skills Action Establishment Group are recent examples of how industry, government and interested stakeholders have successfully collaborated in priority work areas.

TEC encourages representatives to collaborate and can facilitate this by connecting different groups and representatives.

Are there any limitations on who can be part of the consortium including NZIST and WDCs?

There are no restrictions on who can be part of a consortium. 

Are there any preferred issues that a CoVE should seek to address?

An expert evaluation panel will consider all applications based on their merit. This panel will be made up of independent members from the sector and separate evaluation panels will be established for each CoVE. The expert panel will assess how well a consortium’s application:

  • provides a level of additionality beyond what is already expected from the system
  • demonstrates how the growth, development and sharing of best practice provision will be achieved, and includes input from relevant industry experts and leaders
  • identifies challenges or opportunities for the industry within the area of vocational education
  • demonstrates how these challenges or opportunities are of strategic importance to New Zealand
  • shows how the applicant will use collaborative partnership-based approaches to solve the challenges or take hold of the opportunities
  • details solutions that are practical and time-bound with clear measures of success
  • shows evidence of sourcing additional financial support from consortium members (from industry and/or providers)
  • demonstrates the ability of the consortium to undertake the required functions.

Does the “host” (NZIST or wānanga) own a CoVE’s funding?

The operating model the CoVE develops and adopts as part of its establishment process will govern how funds are managed internally and the wānanga or NZIST’s supporting role and responsibilities.

Will the CoVEs be self-managed and who will they be accountable to?

They will be self-managed but will need to provide milestone reporting to TEC on a periodic basis.

What can the funding be spent on, e.g. infrastructure? Will TEC specify this?

TEC will not specify how the CoVE funding should be spent. However, we will consider the benefits that can be delivered to the sector and the value for money when assessing each application.

Why are TEC not adopting a best practice model from overseas and directing the industry?

TEC want to let industry decide how best to use CoVE funding.