New Zealand’s vocational system is seen as a benchmark for the rest of the world, especially in the Pacific and Asian markets.
So just what is New Zealand doing differently?
If we look at the latest figures, Skills Group exported vocational education consulting services to the Middle East, Asian, African, North American and Pacific markets, as well as provided education contracts for international students to study here in NZ. Together, these were worth more than $10 million in 2018 – and are expected to double in the next three to five years. That represents more than a quarter of Skills Group’s annual income.
Garry Fissenden, Skills Group CEO says that “Government data shows us that New Zealand has the highest level of on-the-job training in the OECD – and our success in this field is a significant asset that is driving multi-million-dollar export earnings for the whole country.
“What’s more, the current New Zealand training model for apprentices is held in extremely high regard globally, especially in the key Pacific and Asian Markets.
“What we believe makes the difference is that the NZQA framework, which goes from level one to 10, is fully integrated from schools right the way through to doctorates. So, it is pretty unique internationally – as is the vocational education structure with industry owned training that we have in place.”
Fissenden says Skills Group’s export division, Skills International, is the fastest growing part of the business. Given how respected New Zealand’s vocation education is on the international stage, he believes that growth is no surprise.
“The overseas market has been developing rapidly as more countries look to adopt the New Zealand model,” says Fissenden, “because it integrates customised training programme design and implementation with workplaces and employees, assessors and trainers.”
By building a team of local consultants in each location, Fissenden says that components of the New Zealand vocational educational model have been exported by Skills Group International to more than eight countries including Saudi Arabia, Canada, Africa, Hong Kong, and Vietnam as well as a number of Pacific Island nations.
Other reasons for this success, says Fissenden, is that Skills International offers end to end solutions that meet the training and development needs across all sectors and all parties. That combined with the fact that Skills Group is industry owned, means that the solutions it develops are practical, backed by expert knowledge and designed for flexibility.
If you’d like to find out more about New Zealand’s vocational education system, then get in touch.