Plans to reinstate skills leadership role to ITOs

Education Minister Chris Hipkins is encouraging the public and the sector to have their say on the Government’s intention to restore the skills leadership role of industry training organisations (ITO).

“The previous Government removed the legislative mandate for ITOs to provide skills leadership for their industries. As industry-owned bodies with a standards-setting role, ITOs have a unique contribution to make in identifying skills needs, and in promoting training to employers and employees.

“ITOs are in regular contact with employers (of all sizes) and employees through their role of arranging training. They also understand skills requirements and the broader tertiary education sector.

“Those are all key strengths. That’s why the previous Government’s decision to take away this legislative role from ITOs was a mistake – it was a short sighted move.

“This government is looking at how best to meet New Zealand’s skill needs. That’s why we are reviewing vocational education more broadly as part of the Government’s education work programme.

“But, ahead of that, it is clear that ITOs have a unique role to play in terms of providing skills leadership. I have asked the Ministry of Education to consult on this proposal.

“It’s important that we use this opportunity to identify more clearly, in legislation, the leadership role ITOs should play, taking into account others’ feedback,” Chris Hipkins says.

More information about this and other issues being considered in upcoming legislation can be found at

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