02 Oct 2019

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A workforce development council for the creative cultural and recreation services sector – sounds good to us

We’re continuing our advocacy work, with partners, around the importance of the creative voice in reforms to the vocational education sector.

Here’s our submission to the Government from earlier this year.

Skills Active, the industry training organisation for sport, exercise, recreation and the performing arts, is seeking support for a combined Creative, Cultural and Recreation Services Workforce Development Council (WDC).

WDCs will be the new bodies that will liaise with industry, education providers, government and others, to advance their sectors and ensure that all kaimahi (workers) receive the right skills training.

The Government is currently considering options for setting up WDCs, including how many there should be and what sectors they’ll represent.

As we see it, the best option would be for there to be a WDC covering the wider arts, cultural and creative sectors, but one which has enough heft to hold its own. This is what Skills Active is proposing – with recreation services adding to the ‘heft’ – and we support their position.

Read more in Skills Active’s message below and have your say by Friday, 11 October. You can:

Ngā mihi nui!


E ngā mana o ngā hau e whā

E ngā waka o ngā tai e whā

E ngā karangaranga maha

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoā

Whakahoki ki muri, titiro ānga whakamua.

“Return to the past to forge the future.”

Only one chance: Have a say in getting the skills mix right for the creative workforce

The government is reforming New Zealand’s vocational training sector. Vocational training includes the learning that happens at schools and polytechs, and in workplaces to train and qualify people for careers.

The reform provides a rare opportunity to have a say in how people are trained for work in our sector, and input into the skills and training that we need.

What is the problem?

At the moment our industry lacks an effective way to convey our workforce needs and get those needs met. After this reform, our vocational training would likely be controlled by a body that mainly services hospitality and service workers – unless we support an alternative. And we only have a short window in which to do this: The government is seeking feedback until 11 October.

What is the opportunity?

The current reform will create new industry skills bodies called Workforce Development Councils (WDCs). These WDCs will liaise between industry and government, to ensure employers get staff with the right skills. There will be a maximum of seven WDCs, so each one must represent a sizeable group of industries.

The government is considering how to group the industries together, with options focused around major industry areas, like ‘Construction and Infrastructure’, ‘Service Industries’ and ‘Primary Industries’. The opportunity right now is to have a say in how your industry is represented.

On its own, the creative sector is not big enough to merit a pure Creative WDC. Instead, it would likely be included in the Service Industries grouping – which will be dominated by retail and hospitality. A viable alternative is to join forces with the sport and recreation sectors to create a Creative, Cultural and Recreation Services WDC.

The creative and cultural sectors enrich people’s lives. The sport and recreation sectors serve the same purpose. Māori organisations work across all of these sectors, delivering physical, cultural and creative enrichment within a Treaty-based kaupapa. For a short time, we have the opportunity to form a shared voice that drives equity in vocational training in these naturally aligned fields.

Creative New Zealand is supporting the concept of the creative and cultural sectors joining forces with the sport and recreation sectors, to form a skills body that advocates and supports all of us.

Several other key organisations in our field also support this alliance including NZ On Air, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Sport New Zealand. Now we need your support as well.

This grouping will be big enough to have influence with government, and greater access to resources and funding. The WDC will be owned and governed by industry. Its job will be to consult with employers and industry bodies to ensure the right number of people are trained, in the right skills, in the right ways. It will take direction from industry and develop vocational qualifications specifically for creative professionals. And it will advocate on behalf of the creative industry, promoting their careers, the work they do, and the skills and knowledge of their people.

Skills Active is consulting with industry

Skills Active is the current industry training organisation for sport, recreation and performing arts. After the reform, their functions will be taken over by new organisations in the vocational training system. Until that happens, they are keen to get industry involved to ensure we are all well-served by this new system. Skills Active is leading a consultation with our sector to determine whether we support this grouping of industries, and they need to hear from you.

Get involved by 11 October!

You can attend an industry forum, complete a survey, and write a letter to Skills Active or directly to the government. Use the links below to add your voice to the conversation.

ONE-MINUTE SURVEY: Please click here to take the one-minute survey.

WANT MORE INFO? Click here for more details on the reform and the WDC proposal.

ROADSHOW: Skills Active is hosting a series of industry forums to discuss this opportunity. If you wish to attend, please click here to RSVP for a date and location.

LETTER OF SUPPORT: Alternatively, if you want to write a letter of support for the concept of a Creative, Cultural and Recreation Services WDC, please email it to esther@skillsactive.org.nz or WDCs@tec.govt.nz