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Public submissions to the proposed reforms have now closed. Over 1500 submissions were made as part of this consultation, including many from the health and wellbeing sector. As with all other industry training organisations (ITOs), Careerforce spent considerable time engaging with stakeholders as it constructed its response to the RoVE proposals.

The Government is now considering all these submissions and is expected to make an announcement mid-year on possible outcomes and the next steps. Regardless of any such announcement, Minister Hipkins and Ministry officials have been very clear that should various aspects of the reforms proceed as proposed, any transition of trainees to the proposed New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology would not be rushed and will likely have a two-five year timeframe.

The Minister is well aware of the skills shortages facing many sectors, including health and wellbeing, and does not see any decrease in the current levels of industry training. In fact, it is the inverse. The Minister is extremely clear that he wants to see levels of industry training and of employer participation increase. Accordingly, for Careerforce, it is very much business as usual, and we can provide an absolute assurance that regardless of reform outcomes, trainees and apprentices will be able to complete any programmes they commence.

“We have told the Government in our submission, that it needs to take care, and proceed slowly or risk damaging the very system that is successfully producing the trained workers our health and wellbeing sector so desperately needs,” said Jane Wenman, Careerforce CEO.

“Our sector stakeholders have been very vocal, and we urge the Government to consider their submissions carefully. They know best what is working, what needs to change, and what the real impacts will be if the reforms proceed as proposed.”

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