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Frequently asked questions

  • New Zealand is now in Alert Level 1.  For more information on Alert Level 1 , including health advice and travel restrictions, visit the NZ Government website Unite for Recovery .

    For learning providers, visit the Ministry of Education  website for information regarding COVID-19. 

    For students, visit the StudyLink  and Ministry of Education  websites, or speak to your learning provider for more information on the support package and how to apply.

    For support with mental health and wellbeing, please visit the Mental Health Foundation  and NauMaI  for online tools and guidance.

    Stay up to date:

    For answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments refer to the StudyLink  website.

    For health advice, refer to the Ministry of Health website .

  • The Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) aims to create a strong, unified vocational education and training system that is fit for the future of work and delivers the skills that learners, employers, and communities need to thrive.

    It includes seven key changes, one of which is the creation of the NZIST.

    The new system puts learners back at the centre and it will have a stronger focus on employers: delivering the skills they need, providing more support for those in work-based training, and ensuring greater consistency in vocational learning across the country. 

    Learners will receive more support while they are training, and their knowledge and skills will be more relevant to what industry needs. They will be able to move more easily between regions and between on-the-job, on campus, and online training.

    The changes reflect the Government’s commitment to Māori-Crown partnership.

    New Zealand needs to be ready for a fast-changing future of skills, learning and work A single, strong vocational education system will help improve well-being for all New Zealanders and support a growing economy that works for everyone.

    The world of work is changing significantly. Vocational education needs to adapt to stay ahead of these changes as well as supporting learners, employers, and their communities in a changing environment.

    We have long-term skills shortages across a number of industry sectors and the current vocational education system doesn’t always meet the needs of learners, employers, or regions.

    The current system has also under-served some groups of learners, such as Māori, Pasifika, learners with disabilities, and learners with special learning needs. 

    ITPs are now working together instead of competing with each other. On 1 April 2020, they became subsidiary companies of NZIST, and each has a new board of directors.

    In the short term, most of the changes will be invisible – learners should experience no changes to their fees or study programmes throughout 2020. Please note however that subsidiaries are all working to manage education and learning in an Alert Level 4 environment.

    ITOs became transitional ITOs on 1 April 2020. Over time, their role of supporting workplace learning and assessment will be transferred to vocational education providers.

    This transition will take some time and will be carefully managed so that there is no interruption to training for work-based learners. Given the current Alert Level 4 environment, work-based learners will be advised about any changes to their study and learning by their employers and ITOs.

    A key priority of vocational reform is to better recognise the needs of Māori communities and acknowledge that Māori are significant employers with their own social and economic goals. 

    The changes will prioritise learners who weren’t well served by the previous system, including Māori. 

    A group has been set up to make sure the changes reflect the Government’s commitment to the partnership between Māori and the Crown – Te Taumata Aronui. This will give Māori community and employer views on tertiary education, including vocational education and training.  

    No. Vocational education and training will continue to be offered by NZIST’s subsidiary ITPs and Transitional ITOs across New Zealand.

    No. It will be the interim name until a permanent name has been chosen. The institute will have a te reo Māori name. With the arrival of COVID-19 to New Zealand, it could be a few months before the new name is decided.

    The NZIST head office will be located in Hamilton. Hamilton’s bid was a joint one from Hamilton City Council, Te Waka Ltd (Waikato’s Regional Economic Development Agency), Waikato-Tainui and the Waikato Chamber of Commerce. 

    Read more: News - The NZIST Head Office will be located in Hamilton.

    ITPs will continue to use their current trading names. From 1 April they have a new company name to describe their legal status as limited liability companies. 

  • The changes are being introduced gradually and carefully. Learners won’t notice any changes in 2020 other than those which relate to the New Zealand Government’s Alert Level 4 measures.

    Learners will still be able to complete their qualifications through their chosen provider, and the provider’s name on qualifications will stay the same. 

    They will be able to enrol in another course, including courses that last for more than one year. 

    Support services will stay the same, fees will stay the same and learners’ relationships with organisations such as StudyLink will stay the same. 

    As the changes are introduced, learners will have more access to high-quality learning in the workplace as well as on campus. It will become easier to move between learning in the workplace, on campus and online. 

    It will also be easier to transfer to another part of New Zealand to learn, without it affecting the qualifications learners are training for. 

    Industries will be more involved in setting the standards for what learners study, to make sure they gain the relevant skills that employers want. 

    There will also be more support to help learners achieve their goals.

    People living in remote parts of New Zealand will have more opportunities to learn online. 

    One of the aims of the changes is to prioritise learners who weren’t well served by the previous system. These learners include Māori and Pasifika, who make up a growing part of the future working population. 

    The new system aims to give Māori and Pasifika learners better access to quality education.

    Over time, it will become easier for learners who have enrolled in study to transfer to another part of the country. Learners will be able to live close to whānau, giving and receiving support from family while they study.

    The changes also give Māori business and iwi development a much stronger voice. 

    One of the aims of the changes is to prioritise learners who weren’t well served by the previous system, including learners with disabilities and learners with extra learning needs. Inclusiveness will be at the core of the new system. 

    The changes will make vocational education more accessible for people who have disabilities or need extra learning support. 

    There will be stronger ties between education providers and schools, and between providers and employers. This will help people with disabilities or extra learning needs to get into education and training, and to find jobs. 

    At the moment, Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) are responsible for making sure people with disabilities are not discriminated against. When vocational providers take over work-based learning, this will become their responsibility. 

  • The changes are being introduced gradually and carefully. Subsidiary ITPs are in the process of developing responses for the Alert Level 4 operating environment.

    International students can keep studying towards their goals with the same study arrangements, the same fees and the same visas . Their courses and qualifications will continue to be recognised. 

    International students can continue to enrol to study as planned subject to Alert Level 4 restrictions. 

    Approved visas and study arrangements will continue. Courses and qualifications will continue to be recognised.

    Students will be able to complete any study or training they start. 

    As the new system is introduced, international students will have more access to high-quality learning in the workplace as well as learning on campus. It will be easier to move between learning in the workplace, on campus and online.

    It will also be easier to transfer to another part of New Zealand to study, without it affecting the qualifications students are training for. 

    Industry will be more involved in setting the standards for what students choose to study, ensuring they gain relevant skills that employers want. 

    There will also be more support to help all students achieve their study goals. 

  • The changes are being introduced gradually and carefully in the current Alert Level 4 environment.

    Learners who are on an apprenticeship or being trained at Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) or Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) will be able to continue training with little change for the next year or two. 

    There will be no disruption to the pipeline of skilled workers, and learners can keep enrolling to train. 

    The Reform of Vocational Education aims to help employers hire people who are well-trained and ready for work – and to get people into work more quickly. 

    Under the changes, apprenticeships and on-the-job training will continue to be a priority. They will not be replaced by on campus learning. 

    Industry and employees will have greater influence over the courses and training offered, to ensure learners gain the right skills for the right jobs. 

    Six industry-governed Workplace Development Councils (WDCs) have been created to give industry a strong leadership role in vocational education and training.

    The councils’ responsibilities will include giving investment advice, identifying current and future skills needs, developing qualifications, and setting standards. 

    Regions will also be given more say in planning for the work skills they need. 

    The transition and integration of many different parts to a new cohesive system will be gradual and carefully managed.

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