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Maharey Announces 'First Principles' Review

Maharey Announces 'First Principles' Review Of Training Opportunities And Youth Training Programmes

The Government is to review the Training Opportunities and Youth Training programmes Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

"Together Training Opportunities and Youth Training presently account for over $188 million of government expenditure. It is important that we ensure a quality spend, and quality outcomes.

"The objective is to undertake a 'first principles' review to establish future objectives for these programmes, and ensure that they meet the educational and employment needs of those people with significant histories of unemployment and/or no or low qualifications.

"The purpose of the review is to establish the appropriate future objectives for these programmes, and how we can improve their contribution in meeting the educational and employment needs of people with significant histories of unemployment and/or no or low qualifications. In the eight years since the Training Opportunities programme was established there have been many developments both within the community and government that have affected the way in which services are provided to such people.

"The Government considers it timely to consider the effect of these changes on these programmes. It is important to ensure, given our current understanding, that these programmes are best meeting the needs of this group.

"I have appointed a team to lead the review, comprising both experts from the education, and the training for employment sector, and representatives of key Government agencies. The terms of reference for the review, which I am also releasing today, were drawn up following consultations with stakeholders. I am confident that this review, led by a group of people bringing such expertise and knowledge about the issues facing the target groups for Youth Training and Youth training, will produce positive recommendations for the Government to consider," Steve Maharey said.


1 The Training Opportunities Programme (TOP) was established in 1993 to assist people with low qualifications or limited skills to gain recognised qualifications (or credit towards them), and to move into further education and training, or employment.
2 Prior to the establishment of TOP, during the 1980s and early 1990s, the Government funded programmes to facilitate the entry or re-entry of youth and long-term unemployed into the labour market in the form of ACCESS and MACCESS. ACCESS had mainstream training objectives, and MACCESS focused specifically on Mäori, and was largely delivered through Mäori providers.
3 Since its inception, the Training Opportunities Programme has been based on the following premises about participation in the labour market by unemployed people –
a skill deficits are a major barrier to labour market participation;
b there is a wide range of personal, social and economic barriers that prevent unemployed people from entering or re-entering the labour market;
c structured training, based on the needs of the individual, plays an important role in addressing such barriers and developing skills;
d it is not only important for unemployed people to gain skills, but also to have those skills formally recognised in a way that employers acknowledge. Such recognition enhances an individual’s prospects of gaining employment.
4 The Training Opportunities Programme has been the single largest employment intervention, with funding of $186 million in 1997/98 (its last year as a consolidated pool of funding). As well as being targeted towards specific eligibility groups, the programme has further participation goals for particular groups (Mäori, Pacific people and women), and outcome goals (qualifications attained, and subsequent employment or education achieved).
5 Until 1998, TOP was administered by Skill New Zealand and funded through Vote: Education. From 1 July 1998 the funding was separated out in the following way. Sixty-five percent of the total funding of $186m ($121m) was transferred from Vote: Education to Vote: Work and Income to allow the Department of Work and Income (DWI) more flexibility in the use of those funds associated with their clients. This was known as Training Opportunities. The remaining thirty-five percent ($65m) remained within Vote: Education and became Youth Training. Eligibility for the programmes was divided by age: Youth Training caters to 16 and 17 year olds, Training Opportunities is for those aged 18 and over.
6 Skill New Zealand continues to manage the delivery of both schemes, through contracts with both DWI and the Minister of Education. Skill New Zealand undertakes an annual planning process in each region on the trainee and labour market needs of that area, and then purchases courses on a contestable and/or negotiated basis against specified outcomes. Skill New Zealand purchases most Training Opportunities and Youth Training courses from private education providers, with some polytechnics and wänanga also contracted.
7 From 1 January 1999, twenty percent of the Vote: Work and Income funding ($24m) was unconstrained to enable this funding to be spent on employment related initiatives other than Training Opportunities. This money was removed from Training Opportunities and became part of the DWI baseline contracted services budget. It is used by Regional Commissioners to purchase a wide range of employment and training related initiatives. The remaining $97m is available for Training Opportunities.
8 This review is concerned with both the Training Opportunities scheme funded through Vote: Work and Income, and the Youth Training scheme funded through Vote: Education. In addition the approach taken by DWI to employment training assistance since 1997 will need to be considered as part of the assessment of the future objectives for Training Opportunities and Youth Training.
Youth Training
9 Youth Training currently provides targeted training opportunities for around 13,000 students (over 5,000 at any one time) aged between 15 and 17 each year. There are about 334 providers of Youth Training. Around 80 percent of trainees had no qualification prior to entering Youth Training and 87 percent had never been in full-time employment. In 2000, 44 percent of Youth Training participants were women, 48 percent of trainees were Mäori, and 10 percent of trainees were Pacific peoples.
10 Students undertake study at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) levels 1 to 3 in generic skills and in a range of industry areas. Targets for Youth Training are based on entry to further education or employment. For the twelve month period to 30 November 2000, two months after leaving the course 23 percent of students were in to further education and training courses, and 42 percent were in employment. While many of the courses provide a vocational context, they also include considerable generic education components.
Training Opportunities
11 Training Opportunities aims to assist long-term unemployed and some other beneficiaries who also have low levels of qualifications (no more than two School Certificate subjects or equivalent. During 2000 there were 21,965 trainees, of whom 70 percent had no qualification and 50 percent had never been in full-time employment before entering the programme. In 1999, 42 percent of trainees were Mäori and 11 percent were Pacific peoples. Women made up 49 percent of the trainees. There are about 408 providers delivering at least 1,400 Training Opportunities courses nation-wide.
12 As for Youth Training, students undertake study at NQF levels 1 to 3 and targets are based on entry to further education or employment. In the twelve month period to 30 November 2000, two months after leaving the programme 50 percent of trainees were in employment and 11 percent were in further education. There was an average credit achievement of 23 credits.
Objective of the review
13 Currently the government contributes to meeting the educational and employment needs of those with significant histories of unemployment and/or no or low qualifications through Training Opportunities and Youth Training. A review is to be undertaken of these interventions, which will focus on consideration of the key policy issues and the exploration of the high level operational implications of those possible policy directions.
The objective is to:
a undertake a ‘first principles’ review that will establish the appropriate future objectives for these programmes, and their contribution to meeting the educational and employment needs of those people with significant histories of unemployment and/or no or low qualifications, and
b in so doing, the review will examine the effectiveness of current Youth Training and Training Opportunities programmes in the light of ongoing changes within the labour market and the education and training sector, and evaluate the various options for best meeting those educational and employment needs in the future.
14 In examining how Government should best meet the needs of people with significant histories of unemployment and/or no or low qualifications, the review will also give consideration to how these programmes can better assist:
a in developing the mix of skills training required to assist people in obtaining sustainable employment;
b in helping people gain qualifications, and providing the essential skills for lifelong learning;
c in developing literacy skills;
d in increasing positive outcomes for Mäori, Pacific people, youth, people with disabilities and other people who experience persistent disadvantage in the community and labour market; and
e whether the criteria for access to these programmes should be altered.

15 In addition the review will consider the broad implications of the proposed future objectives for the:
a funding, purchasing, contracting models, accountability, quality assurance, student support, and administrative arrangements to support the delivery of these programmes;
b future roles and responsibilities of and relationships between government agencies, education and training providers, employers, job seekers and trainees;
c application of National Qualifications Framework with regard to such programmes;
d future programme performance requirements, and the associated information/data gathering, monitoring, research and evaluation systems.
Interface with other policy initiatives
16 The review will be linked with other policy developments and initiatives to avoid duplication of effort and inconsistent policy development. In particular, it will take account of:
a Current policy work, including the industry training review, adult literacy strategy, benefit reform, workforce 2010, report of the adult education and community learning working group, work on the Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) and Gateway pilots, and an education and training strategy for 16-19 year olds.
b In addition the review should take account of work on the development of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement, on Modern Apprenticeships, on the development of the voluntary and community sector, on literacy qualifications development, alternative education initiatives, work by the Maori adult literacy working group, and work on a Maori Education Authority.
c Ongoing work by the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission (TEAC) on the future strategic direction of the tertiary education system.
d The Hui Taumata Mätauranga recently provided a forum for Mäori to comment on the aspirations of Mäori in education, and the review needs to be informed by the work resulting from the Hui. Key recommendations to Ministers from the Hui were for increased Mäori authority in education, and improved Government capability and responsiveness to Mäori needs and aspirations
e From an employment perspective there is a need to determine whether programmes such as Training Opportunities should continue to sit outside the Cabinet employment guidelines administered by the Department of Work and Income (DWI), or whether they should be incorporated within them.
f Cabinet agreed in 1997 to ‘ring fence’ Training Opportunities funding within Vote: DWI until an evaluation of the effectiveness of various employment assistance training programmes has been completed. The premise behind this decision was the desire in time to review whether Training Opportunities funding should be further unconstrained within Vote: Department of Work and Income and in time be integrated more closely within employment assistance programmes generally. The approach taken by DWI to employment training assistance since 1997 will need to be considered as part of the assessment of the future objectives for Training Opportunities and Youth Training.
g A general context of providing more flexibility for DWI Regional Commissioners to achieve specified employment outcomes within a climate of rapidly changing labour market conditions. A key objective has been to ensure plans of action for obtaining employment for an individual job seeker are more based on individual needs and aspirations and less on the range of programmes available to help them. Pilot schemes are being developed to test outcomes-based funding within Vote: DWI. Such schemes would establish varying levels of financial incentive for providers to achieve employment outcomes for job seekers based on an assessment of how job ready that job seeker is.
h Te Puni Kökiri’s effectiveness audit of Training Opportunities and Youth Training will be concluded and reported on in June 2001, and will include recommendations on how the programmes could better meet the needs of Mäori learners.
i The government's sustainable development goals, which imply the integration of social, environmental and economic issues, and the critical role of policies relating to human capability and employment in meeting these goals.
j A number of related Government initiatives including the youth development, disability, positive ageing, Pacific and Mäori capacity building strategies.
Process and Accountability
17 The review will be led by a mixed review team of 5 sector experts and 2 senior officials (one from Department of Labour, one from Ministry of Education). The review team will be accountable to the Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) for delivering on the review.
18 This leadership team will be supported by officials from the Department of Labour and Ministry of Education. Close consultation will also occur between the review team and officials from Skill New Zealand and Department of Work and Income.
19 A high-level advisory group of stakeholders (including providers, industry, Mäori and Pacific peoples) will provide additional formal input into the review process. This advisory group will advise on process and content at key stages of the project before the review team reports to Government.
20 A group of officials from government departments with an interest in the review will also have input into the review process.
21 The Government has directed that the review be concluded in early 2002, to enable its findings to inform Budget 2002. The review begins formally in July 2001, with the release of terms of reference and establishment of the review team to lead the review.
22 The first phase of the review includes an environmental scan, a stock take of the existing operations in New Zealand, a literature review and a review of overseas systems. It also includes ‘field work’, meeting with and discussing the issues with stakeholders in a large urban area and a regional centre. Phase one will conclude with a paper analysing the key issues being submitted by the review team to the Minister of Social Services and Employment and Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) by 30 September 2001.
23 The second phase of the review will build on the issues identified as key to meeting the education and employment needs of those with no/low qualifications who are also unemployed, and develop broad options for the future. A paper will be submitted to the Minister by the review team on the options by 15 November 2001. After consideration by the Minister and other key Ministers, a consultation document will be released by 7 December 2001 to provide an opportunity for public comment. That public comment will need to be received by 7 February 2002. A final report will then be submitted to the Minister by the review team by 28 February 2002.
24 Stakeholder input is critical to the success of the review. Several processes will ensure stakeholders are involved in the review, including the mixed review team (including sector experts), the high-level advisory body (made up of stakeholders), wider consultation with key sector bodies, and through the public consultation document and consultation meetings.
25 The purpose of these processes is to exchange information and discuss ideas with key stakeholders. These stakeholders include employers, trainees, job seekers, training providers and Mäori and Pacific peoples/provider groups, youth and people with disability interest groups.


Sally Munro is Executive Director, Munro Duigan Ltd. She has been involved in policy reviews in the education, employment and social development sectors. She has held General Manager positions in both strategic policy and business operations. As General Manager of New Zealand Employment Service (1992/6) she was responsible for managing and leading a national network of more than 70 Employment Centres, with approximately 1000 staff. Prior to this she held a range of positions, including Chief Labour Market Advisor (1990/2), Executive Officer for the Commission for the Future (19976/8), and Researcher at the University of Surrey (1981/3). She was an advisor within the Policy Advisory Group, DPMC (1996/2000)

She is also involved in assisting with the set-up of a film company and business development initiatives for an internet based company focussed on global marketing of NZ stitch designers.

Geoff Woolford is Chief Executive of the National Council of YMCAs. He has extensive experience working with youth at risk including managing a national organisation concerned with improving outcomes for youth, including through providing training programmes. He has amongst other things worked previously as a youth worker. He has been involved with a range of national professional organisations whose objective is related to furthering the aims of youth at risk.

He has been or is a member of a variety national community organisations including the Community sector Round Table, NZ Federation of National Youth Organisations, NZ Association of Private Education Providers, NZ Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations and AA Drivers Education Foundation.

Ngapo (Bub) Wehi is founder and has been leader/tutor with the Te Waka Huia Maori Cultural Club since 1981. The club has been winner of Aotearoa Traditional Maori Performing Arts Festivals and has represented NZ at South Pacific Festivals. He was a lecturer in Maori studies and education at AIT and UNITEC from 1984 to 1996. He is currently a lecturer at Auckland University in Maori Studies.
He has a long history of training rangitahi and has strong tikanga and te reo skills.
Amongst other things he is or has been a JP; Managing Director, Pounamu Ventures Ltd and Pounamu Training Systems; Chair, Te Waka Toi Arts Council and Pounamu Maori Development Authority; a Member of Tourism Auckland, the Aotearoa Tourism Assoc., the Chamber of Commerce, and Auckland Maori Competitions Committee.

Tina Olsen-Ratana is Manager of the Kokiri Marae Keriana Olsen Trust which amongst other matters provides education, training and employment services to at risk Maori. She is a former National co-ordinator for the Aotearoa Maori Providers of Training, Education and Employment (AMPTEE) and contractor to NZQA and ETSA. Since 1999 she has been a Board member of NZQA.

She is a founder of , and national executive spokesperson for, AMPTEE and is on the Board of Trustees for Te Ara Whanui Kura Kaupapa Maori.

Liz Tanielu has provided advice on the delivery of programmes to Pacific people in the education, health and employment areas. From 1996 to 2000 she was a senior adviser with the Community Employment Group leading the implementation and delivery of community employment initiatives. Has also been a tutor with the Victoria University Department of Education (1995/96) and worked as a programme manager in the State Services Commission (1991/94). She is currently chair
of the Board of Trustees at Porirua College.

The Review Team will also include officials from the Department of Labour and the Ministry of Education, and will work in close consultation with Skill New Zealand and the Department of Work and Income.

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