Reform of Vocational Education

Have a say in getting the skills mix right for a sport and recreation workforce

The government is reforming New Zealand's vocational training sector. Vocational training includes the learning that happens at schools and polytechs, and in workplaces where people train and qualify for careers…lifeguarding, for example.

What is the opportunity?
The first part of the reform will create new industry skills bodies called Workforce Development Councils (WDCs). These WDCs will be the liaison between industry and government, to ensure employers get staff with the right skills. There will be a maximum of seven WDCs, so each one must represent a sizeable group of industries. The opportunity right now is to have a say in how your industry is represented.

Recreation Aotearoa supports the concept of the sport and recreation sectors joining forces with the creative and cultural sectors, to form a skills body that advocates on behalf of all of us.

On its own, the sport and recreation sector is unlikely to be big enough to merit a pure Sport and Recreation WDC. Indeed, one scenario is that we are included in the Service Industries grouping - which will be dominated by retail and hospitality. A viable alternative is to join forces with the culture and creative sectors to create a Recreation, Creative and Cultural Services WDC. This grouping would be big enough to have influence with government, and greater access to resources and funding.

The other proposed WDC groupings are: Service Industries | Primary Industries | Construction and Infrastructure | Professional and ICT Services | Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics | Health, Community and Public Services.

The WDC will be owned and governed by industry. Its job will be to consult with employers and industry bodies to ensure the right number of people are trained, in the right skills, in the right ways. It will take direction from industry, and develop qualifications and standards based on that feedback. And it will advocate on behalf of its industry, promoting their careers, the work they do, and the skills and knowledge of their people.

Skills Active, the current industry training organisation for sport, recreation and performing arts, is leading a consultation with the sector to determine whether it supports this Recreation, Creative and Cultural grouping. They want to know what you think.

Here are 4 ways to get involved:

  • ONE-MINUTE SURVEY: Please click here to take the one-minute survey.
  • WANT MORE INFO? Click here for more details on the reform and the WDC proposal.
  • ROADSHOW: Skills Active is hosting a series of industry forums to discuss this opportunity. If you wish to attend, please click here to RSVP for a date and location.
  • LETTER OF SUPPORT: Alternatively, if you want to write a letter of support for the concept of a Creative, Cultural and Recreation Services WDC please email it to
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