Vocational education and training reform in Aotearoa New Zealand

The value of educators and education in a new VET environment





vocational education and training, VET, TVET, VET educators, VET reform


The Education and Training Act 2020 provides an opportunity to transform the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system in Aotearoa New Zealand to ensure participants are successfully prepared for participation in the current and future workforce. The authors of this paper discuss current reforms in the VET system beyond the changing of components and the assignation of requisite tasks. While change to processes and systems can have an impact on VET outcomes, the kind of change that transforms individual lives and life chances depends on the decision-making and approaches made possible only by individuals ‘at the coalface.’ Indeed, changes to training programmes and processes alone cannot give effect to improved outcomes. The authors suggest that it is educators, the often unnamed and invisible workforce that will provide the basis for transformational VET based change. The VET workforce who daily mediate training programmes and curriculum as educators, facilitators, trainers, instructors and teachers are central to the transformation of VET. Indeed, the most challenging and complex of changes within the Review of Vocational Education (RoVE) is one that is not yet accounted for or named – the VET education workforce. The authors call for a recognition of educators in VET and an acknowledgement of the centrality of their work in change. A case for planning and strategy that provides direction for the education and training workforce to build their knowledge and capability for a new VET is presented, without which the opportunity for transformational reform is at risk of being lost to componentry change.


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Author Biographies

Lisa Maurice-Takerei, Auckland University of Technology

Lisa Maurice-Takerei is a senior lecturer in teacher education and higher education at Auckland University of Technology, Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau. Lisa has worked with and alongside teachers in polytechnics and PTEs. Her research is focused on teaching and teachers in the VET sector. Together with Helen Anderson, Lisa has published, Designs for Learning: Teaching in Adult, Tertiary and Vocational Education.

Helen Anderson, Unitec Institute of Technology

Helen Anderson is a research supervisor at UNITEC in the School of Community Studies. She has worked in New Zealand polytechnics in directorate roles while concurrently participating in a range of research projects on aspects of education including assessment, foundation learning, learning space design, teacher education and vocational education. Helen supervises research students with a focus on methodologies and methods.


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2022-11-24 — Updated on 2022-11-24