RSLG kupu tohutohu ki te amoraki mātauraka | RSLG advice to the Tertiary Education Commission

This section contains extracts of the advice we provided to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) in April 2023. The advice is to enable the TEC and other parties in the tertiary education system to prioritise tertiary educational provision, provide targeted careers advice, and make improvements to the regional delivery of training.

Regional context and workforce aspirations

In Otago there are currently not enough people for the number of jobs available, a result of demographic trends including declining birth rates and aging population.  Lifting workforce productivity is a key strategy to address this issue. The Otago Regional Skills Leadership Group (RSLG) is developing a themes-based approach to how workforce planning can support lifting productivity and exploring different approaches to the provision of education and training is a key component of this.

Our aspiration to develop an equitable, responsive, and sustainable labour market system that supports everyone in Otago to thrive remains. This will be achieved through whole of region coordination, transformational change in education, building capability across the labour market and ensuring quality (and equality) of life.

Key themes of our engagement with WDCs and TEOs

The Otago RSLG has engaged with Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) and Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) in-region. Some key themes/areas of focus that were identified include:

  • Māori and Pasifika workforces
  • Employability/transferable skills
  • Support for pastoral care of ākonga (learners) in work
  • The development of a Trade Assistant entry qualification by Hanga-Aro-Rau WDC and Waihanga Ara Rau

Tertiary education specific sdvice

  • Otago RSLG is concerned about disparate tertiary provision across the region
  • Engagement with workplaces suggests that workers and employers require more flexible learning options
  • Basic literacy requirements are a barrier for many workers to engage with further education
  • Training is needed to best prepare ākonga to adapt to new skills and incorporate emergent technology in all fields

Careers system specific advice

The Otago RSLG has identified a lack of consistent and timely careers advice.

Engagement with employers, ākonga and workers has indicated that there is frustration with the careers system not providing timely information regarding pathways, sector skill requirements, and learning/training options. 

The Otago RSLG has had engagement with the Energy Academy and would like to highlight some of their approaches in this advice. Whilst their focus is on the Energy sector, we think that they have developed some interesting concepts to address systemic issues which could be useful if applied across other sectors.

The RSLG also communicated to TEC the forecasted sector demand profile for the region. Please see chapter four for one of the primary heatmaps we used.