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Proposed Model engagement

Reimagining world-class vocational
and on-the-job learning for
Aotearoa New Zealand

The first phase of engagement on the proposed operating model has now closed as of 5pm, Monday 8 November 2021.

We want to thank everyone who was involved in the engagement. We can’t do this mahi alone. Your ongoing contribution is important as together we reimagine and build a world-class vocational and on-the-job learning system for Aotearoa New Zealand.

The many voices and perspectives gained during engagement means the model is informed by the knowledge and experience of learners, employers, Iwi, and our people across the network – to make sure we get this right!

You can view some of the feedback that we received in Your Voice engagement platform.

What happens next

The team is now reviewing the feedback to understand what you’ve told us about the proposed Operating Model. We will share the general themes from your feedback over the coming weeks and what this means for the next phase of model’s development.

Next steps

Our timetable for further engagement and consultation is:

November to December 2021

Targeted engagement on regional and national operating model arrangements.

February to May 2022

As we move toward the detailed design, we will be progressively consulting on aspects of the operating model including:

  • Operating Model, detailed design of the functional model, the capabilities required, and how the functions work together.
  • national and regional operating model, key processes, accountabilities, and performance framework.
  • organisation structure options, directorates and units, teams and role descriptions.

Proposed Operating Model

The detail below was shared as part of the engagement which ran from 18 October to 8 November 2021.

We’ve been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to reimagine and build a world-class vocational, applied and on-the-job learning system for Aotearoa New Zealand that has our learners at the centre.

A summary of our proposed Operating Model is shared here. It provides an overview of how Te Pūkenga network is creating a world-class vocational and applied learning system that is accessible for all learners in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the mahi that’s been done to get us to this point.

What is the proposed Operating Model?

The proposed Operating Model describes how Te Pūkenga will operate in the future. It describes the future experience that learners, employers, staff and iwi, hapū and Māori will have and how we, as a network, will advance equity, especially for Māori, Pacific, and disabled learners.

It outlines what we will do and how we could be organised to deliver on our vision, the intent of the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) and our Charter.

The model does not confirm our new organisational design and structure, how we govern ourselves or what our regions are. It provides the foundations to be able to have further kōrero around this in the next stage.

You can see some of the feedback which was shared with us during the engagement here.

What is at the heart of the Operating Model?

Our Operating Model puts learners and their whānau at the centre (te rito).

However, the change that is needed can only occur in partnership with our staff, employers, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi partners (te awhi rito) who must support our learners.

We have embedded these perspectives into the Operating Model. In particular there is a focus on the voices of Māori, Pacific and disabled communities. We believe in doing so will help create a network that delivers equitable outcomes and success for all learners.

Click on the heading below to understand what the proposed future experience means for you.

  • From 2023 all our learners will be able to:

    • access a greater range of learning options and an online careers pathway platform
    • see their voices heard and actioned in operational plans
    • access more wellbeing and mentoring services
    • have meaningful connections and interactions from their very first days creating a sense of belonging for them and their whānau
    • access information on enrolment to be more inclusive of our diverse learner cohorts.


    Over the coming years we will continue to increase learning and proactive personalised holistic support services that are whānau-centred.

    The learning environment, will reflect our Te Tiriti o Waitangi relationship. Māoritanga during the learning journey will become common place with increased access to learning on kaupapa Māori spaces.

    Transitions from secondary to tertiary and into the workforce will be seamless and supported.

    Innovative and accessible digital platforms will be available and all staff will be culturally skilled and disability confident. Learning spaces will be adapted and designed to be accessible, welcoming and reflect our cultural diversity.

    What the Operating Model means for learners
    What the Operating Model means for disabled learners

    What the Operating Model means for disabled learners(word version)
    What the Operating Model means for Māori learners 

    What the Operating Model means for Māori learners (Te reo Māori)
    What the Operating Model means for Pacific learners

  • From 2023 employers and industry are true partners in delivering a quality learning experience valued by all and attracting more employers to become involved. From the very beginning we will ensure there is no disruption to what works well in the current system, and we will continue to work with businesses and industries to identify issues and trends that impact them and share these across every level of engagement. A co-designed toolkit will be available to assist employers to teach a diverse range of learners in an inclusive work environment.

    As we develop as a network, we will customise solutions that fit with individual business needs. A broad range of integrated products, support options and learning tools will be enabled to meet teaching/training needs. This means easier retraining and upskilling options for staff as the system is more flexible and responsive to individual needs. In the longer-term work-based learning is fully integrated within a range of flexible learning options that fit the rhythms of different workplaces.

    We will leverage naturally occurring evidence of learning in everyday work and draw on digital and work-integrated approaches that together support the acquisition of knowledge and practical skills in new and different ways, and the associated assessment of this learning. A broad range of learning/teaching tools are available including Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence.


    What the Operating Model means for employers

  • From 2023, Te Pūkenga ako networks will begin to support staff to strengthen connections across the network, especially in their own area of expertise. The network structure will be known, and staff will increasingly operate in a network environment. For academic staff, this means starting to deliver unified programmes, share resources and work more closely together on delivery, development and moderation activities and challenges.

    With renewed emphasis, we will support our people to enhance their cultural and teaching and learning capability and, as a workplace, Te Pūkenga will be inclusive, culturally diverse and culturally aware. Systems, processes and practices will be integrated over time.

    The national staff advisory committee will be chosen by staff for staff. Leadership and capability building programmes support our people with the right skills and attributes required for the future.

    Collectively, we will measure our performance around learners and whānau, with a focus on learner success.

    What the Operating Model means for all staff
    What the Operating Model means for allied staff
    What the Operating Model means for teaching staff
    What the Operating Model means for transitional ITO staff
    What the Operating Model means for All Work Based Learning (WBL) staff 

  • Within the next two years consistent Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership and engagement approaches emerge within each rohe and nationally.

    As the partnerships gain strength Te Pūkenga will partner to customise solutions and co-create a process for determining shared priorities and gaining assurance on implementation. Opportunities will develop to make decisions in Mātauranga Māori and Taonga Māori protection, benefit and use activity. Longer-term Tino rangatiratanga – agency and authority – over the education of Māori learners is enabled through genuine partnerships in the governance, management, and operations of Te Pūkenga.

    What the Operating Model means for Māori communities
    What the Operating Model means for Māori communities (Te reo Māori)

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