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March 28, 2018 at 05:30 am

The ITF welcomes the government’s plan to restore the skills leadership role of Industry Training Organisations (ITOs), which confirms a commitment of Labour's Future of Work Commission, and New Zealand First’s Election manifesto.

“As industry-owned entities, ITOs are uniquely placed to understand the current and future skill needs of their industries” says Industry Training Federation Chief Executive Josh Williams.

"We need a systematic and ongoing dialog between government and industry, that ensures education and training is meeting current and future workforce requirements, and resulting in increased productivity" Mr Williams says.

The OECD recently found high levels of 'skills mismatch' between people's qualifications and occupations in New Zealand.

Industry intelligence is required, to tell the story behind the numbers, to communicate emerging skill needs, and ensure that the government's overall investment in education and training is meeting the mark.

ITOs arrange training for 148,000 trainees and apprentices, but as industry standard setters can also help to align New Zealand's collective investments in workforce development is delivering the skills to ensure that individuals and industries succeed.

"We also agree with the Minister that the skills leadership role can be enhanced, and better defined. One example is ITOs' growing activity with schools, to support careers education, and brokering vocational pathways between schools and workplaces."

"We are looking forward to working with government and industries to define, enhance, and restore this critical role." Mr Williams says.