Availability of vocational education programmes throughout the region

A major part of the Government’s RoVE programme was the creation of Te Pūkenga as a single, national organisation to bring the county’s polytechnics and training functions of the ITOs into 1 organisation.

Tāmaki Makaurau hosts the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) and Unitec Institute of Technology as the 2 polytechnics in the region. The joint board of MIT/Unitec undertook a review of vocational education in Tāmaki Makaurau 2 years ago and has shared a draft of it with the RSLG to assist with its Regional Workforce Plan (Skills for Tāmaki Makaurau, 2020. Draft Report – a vocational education road map. Auckland: Te Pūkenga).

The report shows a huge disparity in availability of campus-based vocational education programmes across the Tāmaki Makaurau region with MIT housed predominantly in Otara and Manukau City Centre, while Unitec is based in Ōwairaka/Mt Albert with some teaching done at its Waitākere campus in Henderson. The rest of Tāmaki Makaurau, including Manurewa South, the Auckland Isthmus, North Shore and Rodney to the north, East Auckland and West Auckland from Henderson to Helensville, has no access to polytechnic campuses within reasonable traveling distances. The cause of this disparity is twofold. It is the result of huge outwards housing and population growth of Tāmaki Makaurau over the last few decades and second, the transition of the Auckland Technological Institute with campuses in the central business district and North Shore to university status in 2000 as the Auckland University of Technology.

The RSLG is concerned at the effect that the lack of access to vocational education across Tāmaki Makaurau is having on learners, potential workers and businesses. The distance required to travel to a polytechnic also has a major effect on the carbon footprint of the region.

In the future, more bricks and mortar polytechnic campuses will need to be established in the region, but in the meantime, courses could be delivered to poorly served parts of region through marae, community facilities, university campuses and secondary schools (evening classes). Also, the work-based training programmes that Te Pūkenga is inheriting from the ITOs will provide a greater reach throughout the region. The MIT/Unitec report highlights Health and Construction as the 2 key industries that require a major input of vocational education over the next few years. The RSLG has independently reached the same conclusion.

Tertiary education is a key skills enabler for the region and the upcoming Unified Funding System will further support vocational education and training. The Strategic component funding is of interest to the RSLG as it seeks to support the VET system to respond to regional and national skills priorities. The RSLG will work closely with other key tertiary education organisations, such as the regional Wānanga, Private Training Establishment peak bodies such as Quality Training Institutions and ITENZ, and Group Training Schemes such as ETCO.

Unified funding system(external link) — Tertiary Education Commission

The strategic component(external link) — Tertiary Education Commission

Wānanga(external link) — NZQA

Quality Training Institutions(external link)

Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand (ITENZ)(external link)

The Electrical Training Experts (ETCO)(external link)

Vocational education actions

  • The RSLG supports working with Te Pūkenga to ensure a comprehensive delivery of vocational education across the region.
  • The RSLG supports working with Eke Panuku/Development Auckland and Kāinga Ora to ensure that land is earmarked for vocational education hubs in any future major developments.
  • The RSLG supports the review of the value of current active labour market programmes in Tāmaki Makaurau following the completion of the national review of ALMPs by MBIE.