Workforce Development Councils

Workforce Development Councils

Last updated 25 March 2020
Last updated 25 March 2020

Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) will help industry take a lead in making New Zealand’s workforce fit for today, and the future. Through skills leadership plans, they will set a vision for the workforce and influence the vocational education and training system.

With some amendments, the industry coverage for WDCs is primarily based on the Vocational Pathways and represents broad groupings of industry. Vocational Pathways link the assessment standards at levels 1 to 3 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework to six industry sectors, and show how NCEA learning and achievement is valued by employers. 

The Six Workforce Development Councils and their coverage

A visual representation in the form of a pie chart showing the six Workforce Development Councils and their coverage.

The decision around final coverage areas will be made by TEC and confirmed through Orders in Council (OICs). Each WDC’s industry coverage will be described down to level 4 of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006 in the OICs.

The establishment of WDCs will be enabled by the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill expected by 1 April, 2020. All six WDCs will be up and running by the middle of 2021. This includes the function of standard setting that will shift from ITOs to WDCs. Please refer to the WDC Fact Sheet (PDF, 574 Kb) for more information. 

WDC Design Process

The RoVE programme team was delighted to kick-off a key part of the work recently with an Expression of Interest (EoI) for the WDC design process. Just over 200 applicants shared their aspiration to be part of developing design options and recommendations to inform Workforce Development Council design.

The Design Group and the Reference Group contribute to different parts of the design process. The Design Group, consisting of skills based participants and subject matter experts, will create initial design options. The Reference Group, consisting of a wide group of stakeholders including currently underserved learner groups, employers, industry representatives, unions, providers and senior leaders, will test and refine the Design Group’s initial design options to ensure they are fit for purpose.

Read about the Design Group (PDF, 2.1 Mb) and keep an eye out for information about the Reference Group.

List of industries assigned to WDCs

Industries have been assigned to Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006. The industries will be specified down to ANZSIC Level 4 in the coverage description in each WDC’s Order in Council.

This is the legal way a WDC’s industries will be specified. However, each WDC can describe their industries in different ways on their own websites and in other material.

There will be industries that are not explicitly stated in the ANZSIC. Where an industry is not stated, it will be covered by other related industries. For example, ‘composites manufacturing’ is not listed in the ANZSIC, but ‘composites manufacturing’ would by classified under Basic Polymer Manufacturing, Other Basic Chemical Product Manufacturing or Other Non-Metallic Mineral Product Manufacturing.

Once the WDC is operational, it can describe all its industries by the terms they use (rather than by the formal ANZSIC classification).

How did you decide on the allocation to each WDC?

Industry coverage was decided after consultation, and coverage effectively reflects that consultation. We also received input from industry training organisations (ITOs), based on the industries they work with.

How do I find which WDC my industry has been assigned to?

To see which industries have been assigned to which WDCs, have a look at the industry assignment list  (Excel, 66 Kb).

You can either use the filters at the top of each column, or use the Find function (using Ctrl+F) to search the entire sheet.

What happens if I can’t find my industry in the list?

If you can’t find your industry or have any questions, please send us an email at WDCs@tec.govt.nz.

What happens if an industry doesn’t agree?

If industry believes it should be aligned with a different WDC, and there is good reason for that, they can email WDCs@tec.govt.nz.

Next steps

  • Further engagement with industry, relevant stakeholders, and industry training organisations regarding the WDC establishment process.
  • Supporting WDCs to identify their governance arrangements and Board appointment process to ensure good governance arrangements are put in place and that the WDCs represent all industry interests within their area of coverage.
  • Supporting ITOs in their transition by establishing transitional ITOs on 1 April 2020 to maintain current ITO capability until WDCs are established and a provider has taken on their responsibilities for arranging training.

Get in touch with us

You can contact us by email if you have questions about your industry’s WDC or want to find out more: WDCs@tec.govt.nz

 

WDCs’ work and purpose

WDCs will have a forward, strategic view of the future skills needs of industries. They will translate industry skill needs now and in the future for the vocational education system.

WDCs will set standards, develop qualifications and help shape the curriculum of vocational education. They will moderate assessments against industry standards and, where appropriate, set and moderate capstone assessments at the end of a qualification.

WDCs will also provide advice to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) on investment in vocational education, and determine the appropriate mix of skills and training for the industries they cover.

WDCs will endorse programmes that lead to qualifications, whether work-based (such as apprenticeships), on-campus or online. Unless a programme has the confidence of a WDC, which is essentially industry confidence, it won’t be endorsed by the WDC nor funded by the TEC. 

Besides setting expectations, providing skills leadership and setting standards, WDCs will provide employers with brokerage and advisory services. WDCs won’t, however, be directly involved in arranging apprenticeships and other on-the-job training which will sit with providers.

Potential to share some functions across the WDCs

Some WDC work will be common to all of them. Shared functions could include some, or all, of the below:

  • Shared development of skills standards
  • Combined back office functions
  • Information procurement and sharing
  • Centralised investment advice function
  • Centralised planning function.

 

The year ahead

Timeline V2

Previous consultation process:

Before any decisions were made about the high-level industry coverage of WDCs, the following consultation and engagement activities were undertaken:

  • Five public workshops/meetings – two in Auckland, and one each in Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton (attended by 213 organisations and 294 people)
  • Workshops with Industry Training Organisations (ITOs), government organisations/officials, and regulatory/skills standards bodies
  • Around 30 meetings with individual industry associations and employers (or groupings of up to 10 organisations)
  • Participation at around 25 ITO-arranged engagement events
  • Regional engagement as a part of the wider Reform of Vocational Education programme, including participation at Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Regional Skills Leadership workshops

Additional feedback was also received via a public email address, WDCs@tec.govt.nz

The document What we heard about the potential coverage and governance of workforce development councils (PDF, 6 Mb) provides a comprehensive summary of the feedback we received from consultation and engagement.

Please also find our output documents from some meetings below:

Hamilton – 17 September 2019 (PDF, 563 Kb)
Christchurch – 19 September 2019 (PDF, 750 Kb)
Wellington – 20 September 2019 (PDF, 744 Kb)
Auckland - 25 September 2019 (PDF, 687 Kb)
Auckland - 26 September 2019 (PDF, 1 Mb)

Please find a copy of the presentation given at our meetings below:

WDC Public Meeting Presentation (PDF, 1 Mb)

Please note that this presentation was adjusted slightly for some of the public meetings.

Q&As

1.       How did you arrive at these six WDCs?

The primary considerations in making this decision was the feedback we received, industry preference, feedback from industry training organisations (ITOs) and an alignment with current vocational pathways.

2.       How much consultation have you done with the sector?

In developing the WDCS, the following activities were undertaken:

  • Five public workshops/meetings – two in Auckland, and one each in Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton (attended by 213 organisations and 294 people);
  • Workshops with ITOs, government organisations/officials, and regulatory/skills standards bodies;
  • Around 30 meetings with individual industry associations and employers (or groupings of up to 10 organisations);
  • Participation at around 25 ITO-arranged engagement events;
  • Regional engagement as a part of the wider Reform of Vocational Education programme, including participation at Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Regional Skills Leadership workshops.
  • Additional feedback was also received via a public email address, WDCs@tec.govt.nz.

We will also continue to consult with industry and stakeholders throughout the WDC establishment process.           

3.       Why isn’t my industry listed within these categories?

Some industry areas are not yet described as coverage is drawn from current ITO and NZQA responsibilities. A detailed list of industries and the WDC to which they have been assigned will be made available shortly. This list of industries will be based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006. The final detailed descriptions of WDC coverage areas will be through Orders in Council as each WDC is stood up.

4.       If some industries don’t agree with how their sectors have been categorised, can they get this changed?

WDC coverage areas will be finalised through Orders in Council as each WDC is stood up. Before then, industry sectors will shortly be able to see the list of industries online and to which WDC they have been assigned.

While we do not expect significant changes, if an industry believes it should be aligned with a different WDC, and there is good reason for that, they can email WDCs@tec.govt.nz.

5.       Does this change align with the sectors’ preference?

We consulted extensively with industry sectors and their overall preference is that the groupings align with the current vocational pathways. A particular benefit of these WDCs is that they bring a number of new industries or sectors not currently covered by ITOs. These industries will now have a powerful industry voice. Examples include web and graphic design, fashion, ICT and teacher support qualifications.

6.       Why do we need to change from ITOs to WDCs?

The change from ITOs to WDCs will enable industry to have a greater influence on what and how training is delivered to their future workforce.

This will be achieved by giving industry, through WDCs, greater ability to:

  • influence government investment via TEC
  • set standards across providers delivering training
  • play a skills leadership role in their relevant industries.

7.       How will you ensure that this change won’t affect learners and employees of ITOs and others that will be impacted?

We have listened carefully to the concerns of employers, learners and affected employees, and have given a great deal of thought to minimising disruption during these changes.

Our vocational and education sector have been assured that implementing these changes will not be rushed. There will be a phased, gradual approach to managing transitions of the setting standards function to WDCs, and the arranging training function to providers, to ensure the skills pipeline isn’t disrupted. This is due to be completed by 31 December 2022.

TEC will work with each ITO on transition plans to manage this process Changes will be handled carefully and only happen when capability is in place.

8.       Are the names for each WDC final?

The names used for each WDC are working descriptions right now and may change as part of the establishment process.

9.       Some ITOs have claimed that they think enrolments will drop due to the uncertainty around how WDCs will function. How will this be addressed?

This will be a gradual, phased transition. We, and the sector, will continue to assure learners that they can enrol as normal and their learning will continue.

10.   What is happening with potentially sharing services across WDCs?

We will be asking industry to have a view on this, as part of the process to establish WDCs.

11.   You’ve said WDCs won’t be involved in arranging apprenticeships and other on-the-job training. Who will be doing this?

Currently, ITOs are responsible for arranging the training of people in work, such as apprenticeships and other training. The Reform of Vocational Education oversees the transition of standard setting functions to the WDCs and the arranging of work-based training to providers, such as the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, private training establishments, and wānanga.

12.   Where can I get further information?

Please email WDCs@tec.govt.nz.