Te Pūkenga Network is taking steps to balance its budget for 2023 and step towards financial sustainability, Acting Chief Executive Peter Winder told kaimahi (staff) today.
“Te Pūkenga is currently forecasting a $63m deficit for 2022. This is clearly unsustainable. We’ve been working with leaders from across former Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and former Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) in our Network to consider the steps we need to take to ensure we are financially viable and can respond to the changes ahead of us in 2023,” he said.
Considerable cost pressures, inflation and uncertainty around international student enrolments are expected to impact the organisation’s bottom line. The government’s Unified Funding System also comes into effect next year and we must also respond to it and the new priorities in the way training should be delivered in this sector.
“This shift means we must emphasise in-work learning and consider our cost structure for face-to-face and on-line delivery so that our costs are better aligned to demand,” Mr Winder says.
“In response, Network leaders will be working hard to identify further savings for 2023. Savings will come from a number of areas, but may include some targeted and formal proposals for staffing changes across a number of former ITPs. We will be undertaking considerable care to ensure they are targeted and designed to align our capacity and capability with demand and support our broader transformation goals.
In total Te Pūkenga is looking to secure savings in the budget for 2023 of around $10m across work-based learning, around $25m across former polytechnics and prudent savings at national office.
“These savings are absolutely necessary as we address the financial sustainability of Te Pūkenga. However, change and uncertainty are hard – and change has been constant for our Network for some time now. I acknowledge the impact of this on our people and their whānau.
“We must continue to meet the needs of ākonga, employers, industry and communities – and these needs will be front of mind in considering proposals for change. Proposal decisions will be made at a regional level and reviewed from a Network level to ensure we consider the capacity and capability we need to retain in our Network.
“Any changes to delivery must also reflect our Charter and our obligations to iwi, hapū, regions and local communities,” he said.
A copy of the message to kaimahi is available at TePūkenga.ac.nz.