With a little over seven weeks to go until the legislation comes into effect, we’re continuing to make good progress getting the foundation set up for the new national Institute.
Our series of Regional Kōrero hui kicked off in Ōtepoti/Dunedin a week ago and we’re now half-way through, having also visited SIT in Invercargill, WITT in New Plymouth, UCOL in Palmerston North, WelTec and Whitireia at Petone and Porirua, Open Polytech in Lower Hutt, and Ara Institute in Christchurch.
In each place we’ve met primarily with ITP staff, but each community has also – at our request – invited tangata whenua, staff and leaders from ITOs, learners, unions, community and business leaders for a wider, richer conversation.
As well as sharing the latest information on our progress and remaining actions between now and the end of March, all of which is on our website, we’re providing clarity around what will and won’t change for learners, staff, and at an organisational level for both ITPs and ITOs from 1 April 2020.
We want to provide reassurance and hear concerns so we can make sure that what we communicate answers the questions people are asking. Our main message is that initially, most of the changes will be invisible and not a lot will change operationally.
Change will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary and it will be founded on strong relationships and working together.
Much like walking along a path to reach a destination, each individual step might not look a whole lot different to the last one, but when taken together over time, you realise you’ve travelled a fair distance.
The challenge is to stay on the path together and keep our eyes on the vision of a fully functional national Institute, bringing life to the NZIST Charter every step of the way.
This week we marked two significant milestones that will help us achieve this vision. Having an experienced change leader who can bring people together is absolutely critical, and the appointment of Stephen Town as the inaugural Chief Executive has been positively received from across the sector.
Stephen has a deep commitment to vocational education and training and is excited at the opportunities that the RoVE programme offers for all of New Zealand. We’re now working through transitional leadership arrangements until he comes on board formally from 6 July.
This week we also started an important conversation about what the new Institute could be called. A four and a half minute video on our home page provides a snapshot of four and a half months’ work – it’s a conversation starter so I encourage you to watch it, have a kōrero with your friends, whānau, colleagues, and be ready to have your say when public consultation opens online on 14 February.