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Ara CE Tony Gray’s take on RoVE announcement


Ara Institute of Canterbury’s Chief Executive Tony Gray is looking forward to the potential opportunities that today’s Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) announcement holds for Ara and the Canterbury region.

“For our region and Ara, Minister Chris Hipkins’ announcement about RoVE holds a number of positives. I see the reform as an opportunity to further show how good we are at providing vocational and higher education in our region and making the most of the increased opportunities for collaboration across our sector.

“The opportunities include the development of more work integrated learning and further developing our already successful Managed Apprenticeship model in partnership with others. Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) provide a real opportunity to develop provision in our region and in collaboration with industry and other education partners both in NZ but also internationally.”

While Gray is welcoming many of the changes he also says he is awaiting with interest the announcement of the Establishment Board tomorrow.

“The make-up of the Establishment Board will be critical for the future of these reforms and in reality the part Ara can play in them.

“I am pleased though that we will be given the opportunity to actively engage with the Establishment Board on the new institute.”

Gray positively comments on the Minister’s statement that the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology’s (NZIST) headquarters will not be placed in Auckland and Wellington.

He is also pleased that staff and student voices will be heard throughout the transition process and both groups will be involved in further consultation.

Legislation for the new system will start going through the parliamentary process by the end of August with an understanding that it will be passed and the new institute in place by 1 April 2020.

According to Gray, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done between now and April.

His main concerns lie with the lack of information on funding.

“Whilst the Minister has announced that some transition funding has been addressed, there is a significant lack of detail about how the subsidiary institutions will be funded and what the funding model will look like. We have to get this right!”

Gray also stresses that in the meantime everything will be ‘business as usual’ at Ara.

“Our focus will remain on the day-to-day delivery of excellent vocational education for our students and the employers and industries in the Canterbury region and how we can further make a real difference to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of the region.”

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