Key themes of our engagement with Workforce Development Councils and tertiary education organisations
The West Coast is a challenging region in which to provide accessible, flexible learning opportunities.
Its main constraints include a small population spread over a large distance, limited mobile coverage, no public transport and frequent significant weather events. Providing equitable access to learners is therefore a significant issue.
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi needs to be honoured in training.
- The pathway through a programme may be different for each learner, and should no longer be cohort based.
- The need for sufficient pastoral care for learners and workers to enable success.
- Identified issues/barriers to effective training, for example, literacy/numeracy/digital skills not in place to the degree required for the qualification/training.
- A shift in assessment approach to provide greater equity for learners.
- The type of training required by the region is not conducive to optimal cohort sizes.
- Modes of delivery need to be flexible, and learner focussed – for example, in the workplace, block course, night class, or online, depending on the work learners are exposed to and how they would like to learn.
- The need for right sized learning - logical blocks of learning.
- The demand for micro credentials and short/sharp training.
- Requirement for flexibility to enable people to transition in and out of employment and study easily.
- Some population groups are underrepresented in training. This situation also presents an opportunity to strengthen the workforce. Provision needs to meet the needs of the changing workforce – Māori, job changers, women returning to work, women in non-traditional industries, mature people, and people with disabilities or health challenges.
- The system does not currently respond quickly to demand and change.
- Better provision for rural community, industry workforces and learners.
- Leadership/people management training required in most industries.
- Lack of employability/soft skills/self-awareness.
- Concerns on how the Te Pūkenga operating model will impact learners and future labour market. The need for a model that serves the needs of all learners providing for and considering rural and remote communities.
- Funding: One model does not fit all. The Unified Funding System does not work for regions and does not allow for regions to meet regional demand. Funding should be based on outcomes and aligned to regional needs.
- Initiatives including Mana and Mahi, Apprenticeship Boost, Upskill, Mayors Task Force for Jobs and TTAF have made training attractive. There are concerns about the flow-on effect for the key West Coast industries and staff retention with some funding streams ending and having no certainty about others.