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Primary ITO: Knowledge to grow

News & Features

Update on Primary ITO’s work with learners and employers during the Government’s education reforms

3 November 2020

At the start of 2019, the Government began its Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE), aimed at creating a system fit for the future of work, delivering the skills learners and employers need.

At the heart of the reforms is the creation of Te Pūkenga – a new nationwide New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, with the country’s existing 16 regional polytechnics as subsidiaries.

Industry Training Organisations like Primary ITO have a vital role in arranging training, setting standards and designing training programmes and this is continuing during RoVE. Over time Primary ITO will work more closely with Te Pūkenga in designing training programmes, and arranging training and apprenticeships. From the end of 2022, we anticipate operating as part of Te Pūkenga.

What this means for Primary ITO learners and employers

Now is still the best time to train. The Government has promised learners will be able to finish their qualifications uninterrupted during the education reforms. Following the impact of Covid-19, the Government is also paying for the fees for trainees and apprentices enrolling with Primary ITO.

At Primary ITO, we are continuing to enrol people and ensure they get the best primary industry-specific training available.

Will Primary ITO still be around for my training

We are working closely with the government’s education authorities on a transition plan into Te Pūkenga which will ensure that our training will transition into the new agency. Any training begun with Primary ITO will still be able to be finished.

Over time we hope the changes will mean that learners and employers will get the benefit of a vocational education system that lets them integrate their on-the-job learning with full time study and online learning.

What else is changing?

The Government is setting up Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) to set standards and create qualifications for industry training. There will be a new primary sector WDC to take over these functions from Primary ITO. This is a relatively small part of Primary ITO’s current work.

There are also new Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) and Regional Skills Leadership Groups. More detail is available from the Tertiary Education Commission.