Vocational Education and Training Reform in Aotearoa New Zealand
Maurice-Takerei, L; Anderson, H
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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.