Consultation supports strong industry voice in vocational education


Consultation on the foundation documents of six new industry-led and governed Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) is due to close in just over two weeks, marking a significant milestone in the Reform of Vocational Education.

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is asking for feedback on six WDC Order in Council proposals that will establish the WDCs as legal entities.

It’s seeking feedback on each WDC’s name, the industries they cover and governance arrangements.

“WDCs will play a vital role in helping industry set a vision for the skills and training needed for our future workforce, and will significantly influence the vocational education and training system,” TEC chief executive Tim Fowler says.

“The Reform of Vocational Education is creating a strong, unified and sustainable vocational education system that delivers the skills learners, employers and communities need to thrive today and into the future.

“Once established, WDCs will have a forward-looking, strategic view of the future skills needs of industries across the country.

“They will provide industry with greater leadership across vocational education and training, something that industry has long been seeking,” Fowler says.

WDCs will set standards, develop qualifications and help shape the curriculum of vocational education, moderate assessments against industry standards, provide advice to the TEC on investment in vocational education, and determine the appropriate mix of skills and training for the industries each WDC covers.

Over the past few months, industry-led interim establishment boards have been engaging with their industry sectors, peak bodies, educators, Maori and iwi business and industry, to develop the draft content for each WDC Order in Council proposal.

The consultation provides a further opportunity for industry, and others interested in vocational education and training from an industry and employer perspective, to have their say.

The consultation period closes on Friday, February 5, 2021. Feedback will inform the final Orders in Council that will establish each WDC.

For more detail and to provide feedback, go to