New Zealand Law Society - Third reading for vocational education bill

Third reading for vocational education bill

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The Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill had its third reading on 19 February 2020. Minister for Education Chris Hipkins is in charge of the bill.

The bill amends the Education Act 1989 and repeals the Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act 1992 (ITAA) to create a unified and cohesive vocational education and training system.

Currently, industry training organisations are recognised under the ITAA to develop arrangements for the delivery of work-based training. Sixteen polytechnics, 3 wānanga and a large number of private training establishments (providers) deliver vocational education outside of the workplace under the Education Act.

The consequence of this complex dual system is that it does not always meet the needs of learners, employers or regions. Some polytechnics are facing challenges to their sustainability, putting access to their delivery at risk, and employers find the lack of industry input into education delivered outside of workplaces frustrating.

The bill establishes a single regulatory framework for vocational education and training by bringing the provisions of the ITAA into the Education Act.

The Act comes into force on 1 April 2020.

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