This new agreement draws together the training and education previously provided by a number of Transitional Industry Training Organisations (TITOs) and Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) into one new arrangement with Te Pūkenga, and will support the NZDF’s continuity of training and education services as the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) continues.

As the largest user of vocational qualifications in Aotearoa New Zealand, NZDF personnel complete more than 4,000 vocational qualifications annually. Te Pūkenga is charged with bringing together the country’s 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics plus Industry Training Organisations and will become New Zealand’s largest tertiary education provider. The organisation will use its national and regional reach to become a long-term skills training partner for firms and industries, with learners placed at the centre of a cohesive, sustainable system.

Colonel Andrew Brown, the Commander of the New Zealand Defence College says the NZDF has always believed that learning is central to success.

“I am tremendously proud to sign this agreement today with Stephen Town, Chief Executive of Te Pūkenga. It is the culmination of a significant amount of work to establish NZDF as a foundation partner of Te Pūkenga and it acknowledges the scope of NZDF workplace training and education needs. This agreement cements NZDF’s desire to be a leader in workplace training and education, leveraging the inherent strengths of our people by promoting lifelong learning,”  he said.

With more than 100 trades at work across the three Services, including construction, engineering and hospitality, the NZDF offers the greatest choice of career options and ongoing training of any New Zealand employer. The NZDF supports its personnel to gain qualifications registered on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework that complement their military training.

Te Pūkenga Chief Executive, Stephen Town, says the signing is a significant step forward in better supporting one of New Zealand’s largest employers.

“Partnerships like this are how Te Pūkenga will make a real impact on the lives of thousands of New Zealanders. This hasn’t previously been possible in the New Zealand vocational education sector, but with this agreement, we are working collaboratively to simplify how New Zealand’s armed forces engage with vocational and applied learning.”

Both NZDF and Te Pūkenga are required to give effect to Te Tiriti in all aspects of their operations and are committed to improving outcomes for Māori and the bicultural competency of all of their people.

Colonel Brown said  “NZQA recently recognised (as reported in the recent NZQA External Evaluation Review of the NZDF GTE) that NZDF learners identifying as Māori and Pacific are achieving qualification outcomes equal to that of other NZDF personnel, and well above their counterparts in general student populations.” 

Stephen Town added: “Providing equitable outcomes for all of our learners is a key priority for Te Pūkenga and we look forward to working closely with NZDF to learn what works for them and how it might be applied across our network.”