Wednesday, November 20, 2019

NZ Institute of Skills and Technology - NZIST - establishment unit

The 'establishment unit' for the merging of all of the current NZ polytechnics and institutes of technology (ITPs) is now up and running.

The establishment board is made up of a group of people with backgrounds / interests in the ITP and Industry training organisation (ITO) backgrounds along with representation from the Tertiary Educaiton Union (TEU) and iwi.

The Day One Deliverables have been identified and there are 10 workstreams to prepare for the April 1st 2020 launch date of the new entity.

Plans include those required to ensure the NZIST is up and running at the planned date:

  • selection of a Chief Executive
  • establishment of implementation plan
  • transitioning ITPs into subsidiaries
  • Day one operational requirements --- etc.

Seven workstreams have been formed to work through the complexities of the merger. These are:

  • student journey ma[
  • employer and community engagement model
  • education products and services
  • work-based learning development
  • new academic architecture
  • online delivery model
  • international education
Chair, facilitators and principal advisors for each of the workstreams and workstream members (10 people) have been set up (as of beginning of Ocotber). 

“The prime role of these working groups is to provide advice to the incoming permanent NZIST Council in April 2020. The new Council will consider the suggestions and recommendations of the working groups as it makes future decisions,” says Barry Jordan, Chair of the IST Establishment Board. “Co-designing the work programme outputs with wide ranging stakeholders and educators is an important foundation for the long-term sustainability of NZIST.”

Now a bit of a 'wait and see' if there will be 'reports on progress' before Christmas.


Monday, November 18, 2019

31 coolest jobs in the world

This came up on Stuff a couple of weeks ago.

Many of the jobs listed did not exist a few years ago and over half are in the craft / design/ technical specialist industries. Almost all require fine manipulative skills, high degrees of innovation and attention to detail.

Many of the jobs are related to providing niche services or products to the educated and affluent of the world's consumers. Included are jobs like bonsai tree horticulturalist, fugu chef, vehicle customiser, surfboard / guitar maker and cheese maker / parmesan taster.

Therefore, many jobs cater for the needs of consumers seeking self-actualisation beyond their paid work! Included are also jobs to assist consumers to 'move up' in the world - like etiquette trainer, interior / fashion designer.

Also, jobs to support the leisure industries like designers of 'letters', movie sets and figurines, motion capture actor etc.

What the article misses, is the mass of technologies required to support many of these 'cool jobs' including the infrastructure, technologies and other services. However, the existence of these jobs indicates the increase in the services industries and the need for people to be able to 'transfer' skills, perhaps learnt in other contexts, into the niche / specialist roles exampled by these types of work. These kinds of work are also supported by trends and many will morph or be extended as markets needs shift. So, there is still the need to ensure education prepares people for the future of work which will be always subject to change.


Monday, November 04, 2019

The body in professional practice, learning and education - book overview


This is a broad overview of the book - The body in professional practice, learning and education, published in 2015 and edited by B.Green and N. Hopwood. It is volume 11 of the professional and practice-based learning series published by Springer.

There are 4 parts across 15 chapters.

Part one – introduction -  has two chapters.

The main introduction by the editors provides rationale for the book and summaries of each chapter. The origins of the book are from a research programme developed over the last decade at Charles Sturt University through the Research Institute of Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE). Networking opportunities afforded the extension of the original group to include researchers from Canada and the University of Technology, Sydney. This book continues on from work published from 2008 onwards and is the fifth in the series.

Then a deeper introduction to the concepts, also by the editors is in the second chapter. The chapter re-introduces the concept of ‘the body in practice’ and in particular, the influence of the work of Schatzki on understanding the holistic intermingling of the body, mind and movement. The three dimensions of ‘bodyness’ as outlined by Schatzki are: being a body; having a body; and the ‘presence  of’ the instrumental body. There is a critique of how Schatzki sees the body as part of the material ‘lived’ world and discussion on how the body is represented, and how practice, when the contribution of the body is accounted for, takes on different connotations.

Part 2 has 6 chapters on ‘thinking with the body in professional practice’.

Chapter 3 by M. Somerville and K. Vella on ‘sustaining the change agent: bringing the body into language in professional practice’. Here, the authors apply feminist philosophies to understand how people develop and cope with organisationally imposed change. The relationships between the body and language are explored as there is a challenge in articulating bodily sensations when there is a lack of precision in language to allow for the nuances to be described.

Fourth chapter by N. Hopwood on ‘relational geometries in the body: doing ethnographic fieldwork. This chapter follows on well from the previous as it presents on how humans can better notice and understand the role of bodies in professional practice. He uses an auto-ethnographical approach to study his own movements (body geometries / bodily positioning) and those of the participants / spaces of his study.

Next chapter by M. C. Johnsson with ‘terroir and timespace’: body rhythms in winemaking. In this chapter, the context of a wine yard is used to understand practice patterns and body rhythms. How these impinge on practice is unravelled.

Chapter 6 with J-A. Reid and D. M. Mitchell writing on ‘inhabiting a teaching body: portraits of teaching’. Here the ‘habitus’ of being a teacher is explored. In particular, how the social practices, expectations, space/time etc. are learnt as they are influence the ways teachers’ attitudes, gestures, vocalisations and dispositions are ‘displayed’. A comparison is made between a highly effective ‘expert’ teacher and a novice to unpack the many ‘undescribed’ and ‘undefined’ characteristics that contribute to the ‘habitus’ of teacher.

Followed by D. Mulcahy on ‘body matters: the critical contribution of affect in school classroom and beyond’. Here, passions, emotions and desires are the focus. The study is undertaken in a school context using video case-studies. Actor-network and post-structuralist theories are used to analyse the data. Teaching and learning practices impinge strongly on the embodied and affective areas of ‘being a teacher’.

Last chapter in this section by B. Green titled ‘thinking bodies: practice theory, Deleuze, and professional education’. A philosophical discussion on the precepts proposed by Deleuze – affect, virtuality, multiplicity etc. on ‘thinking the body’.

Part 3 has 6 chapters focused on the body in the contexts of health professional education and practice.

Chapter 9 by S. Loftus is on ‘embodiment in the practice and education of health professionals’. Uses the concepts of ‘embodied narrative knowing’ or Todres’ ‘embodied relational understanding’ to better understand how health professional come to know and act.

The tenth chapter is by E. E. Katzman presenting on the topic ‘embodied reflexivity: knowledge and the body in professional practice’. Here feminist and post-structural literature, inform the study of ‘embodied reflexivity’ in the context of being an attendant health-care worker. There is a focus on the power relations and the ‘lived’ politics of knowledge, through the article.

Chapter 11 is by L. L. Ellingson on ‘embodied practices in dialysis care: on (para) professional work’. This chapter follows through from the previous, with a focus on vulnerability of patients and health professionals within the context of an out-patient dialysis treatment unit. The communicative aspects of embodied practice are analysed to understand the many facets of relationships and communication required.

Next chapter on ‘(per)forming the practice body: Gynecological teaching associates in medical education’ by J. Hall. The aspect of intimacy is the main focus of this chapter. How does the body react to and act, in the teaching of a specialised aspect of health studies.

S. DeLuca, P. Bethune-Davies and J. Elliot write on ‘the (de)fragmented body in nursing education’. Continuing on from the previous chapter, the ‘body work’ required to learning how to nurse are presented. How ‘phronetic practice and ‘practical wisdom’ are learnt and applied is the main focus of this chapter.

Last chapter in this part is by S. Denshire on ‘looking like an occupational therapist: (re)presentations of her comportment within auto-ethnographic tales’. Here, the ways in which the body is represented are unpacked through auto-ethnographic work. A personalised account is made of practice and how this constant interaction between what the body brings into practice, influences and must be continually reflected on to ensure the relevance and efficacy of practice.

The last part concludes with a reflective chapter by E. A. Kinsella with ‘embodied knowledge: towards a corporeal turn in professional practice, research and education’. This closing chapter, brings  together and summarises the many threads presented through the book.

Overall, a good introduction to the precepts of 'embodiment' and the implications of bringing in the myriad senses / feelings / perceptions from human activity. The continual work towards better 'knowing' is not only cerebral, but also bodily. One cannot be separted from the other. Yet, to date, there has been little emphasis on trying to understand the contribution of the body to learning. The book is therefore, a good introduction to considering the importance of understanding how humans live, through more holistic and integrated study.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

NZ VET research forum - presentations now available

Most of the presentations from the recent NZ VET research forum - see here for summary of day one morning - are now available via this link.

Of note are the keynote presentations from Dr. Marco Pagcanella providing a more global overview of where NZ is at with regards to work skills through the PIACC data, and Professor Jane Bryson's analysis of availability of professional development for workers in NZ.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Flavor - the science of our most neglected sense - book overview

Presently, drafting an article on 'learning to taste' as an output for one of the eassessment for learning sub-projects.

The book -  Flavor:the science of our most neglected sense. Holmes B. (2017). W.W. Norton and Co.
I worked through the book - borrowed from the local library - over the last week or so.

The author's home page  indicates his experience as a science writer, so the overall tone and style of writing is accessble to the layperson.

The book has gathered positive reviews - from a chef's perspective and from the processedfoodsite.

There are 8 chapters in the book, covering the essentials of understanding how humans (and mammals) taste. There are some good insights across the book, as the author explores the history, science and sociology of taste and flavour.

The central arguement is of the complexity of flavour and its role in enhancing human's quality of life. Visits to wineries, restaurants, flavour compound industry producers and food sensory laboratories are described and connected to the 'science of taste and flavour'. There is discussion on why we enjoy certain foods and why we find some to be unpalatable - the contribution of nurture is just as important as nature. The many dimensions of taste - including mouthfeel, smell and sound are introduced and extended. The various aspects of flavour - salt, sweet, sour, bitter, umami are all explored.

In summary:
- we eat with our eyes - so the colour and complementary presentation help enhance our eating pleasure.
- Smell plays a large role in taste and may consist of smell and 'flavour'
- holistic presentation help - therefore seafood tastes better when we are by the seashore or if the dish is presented with the sound / and smell of the sea.
- much of our taste preferences are cultural and learnt although there are some underlying biological foundations for individual's taste - some people do not have as many taste buds and do not taste the intensity or spectrum of flavours. People who dislike brocolli for example, are often 'super' tasters and need to surmount their initial over whelming of their taste senses to appreciate brocolli!

All in, the book is essential reading for anyone seeking to better understand the mechanisms and quirks of one of the least understood and underated of human senses.




Wednesday, October 16, 2019

NZ Vocational Education and Training (VET) research forum - DAY TWO after morning tea


After morning tea, three concurrent sessions are presented.

Firstly with Helen McPhun from LEARNPLUS on ‘will shifting the goal post improve the game?’ Shared a subset of her study ‘is the current benchmark the cause of poor assessment practice?’ Some moves to remove the unit standard 4098 which prepares people to assess competency standards. Assessment processes and behaviours seem to have flaws? Do we blame 4098 and shift to a more difficult unit? Interviewed across the private tertiary providers and ITOs – assessors, academic managers and moderators. Variables to explore include assessors, assessment documents, context, conditions and support. Shared findings. Assessors have preferences, standards and values and these colour our assessment decisions. Design, clarity and ease of use of the assessment documents play a key role in ensuring assessments are valid, reliable and fair. Therefore, not 4098 preparation but the assessment documents themselves must be solid and the behaviours of assessors in making assessment decisions.

Second concurrent session with Dr. Glenys Ker (with work with John Gualter) from Otago Polytechnic with ‘facilitating for transformative learning – innovative ways to support learners (and their organisations’. Provided background, context and rationalisation on a Doctorate of Professional Studies study of the Independent learning pathway (ILP i.e. recognition of prior learning) process. Usually enables people to attain a degree over a year. These people are engaged at work. Also the Partial Independent Learning Pathway (PILP) for people in an organisation. Here, the learner completes a project, identified with their organisation. Provided details of the process along with examples. Begins with ‘looking back’ to reflect on their knowledge and skills, then ‘taking stock’ to work out what they have and if there are any gaps, leading to a ‘summing up and looking forward’ step to bring together the evidence / case study for presentation. Shared 4 principles for effective facilitation. Needs to be fit, build relationship, understand the skills, knowledge and attitudes required and putting the learner first.

Next up, Mark Cox and Konrad Hurren from BERL on ‘modelling alternative post-school pathways’. Presented research to look at returns post-school dependent on where and how people move through life. Data was from the integrated data infrastructure from Statistics NZ. Project was concerned with checking a NZ Universities stat on earnings if degree was complicated (i.e. a million over lifetime). Shared the problems with the stats which did not consider many parameters. The study presented modelled alternative pathways for people leaving school with at least NCEA L2, account for earnings and across different skills / disciplines. Population who completed an apprenticeship / degree in 2003. Tracked back to 1999 and to 2018. This allowed for 4 years of data from time leaving school. Allowed for average student loan, household economic survey, mortgage, house prices etc. For degrees B Com. BSc, BA with technology based apprentices (building, engineering); commerce and other apprentices (personal services, society and culture). Used model to calculate ‘net financial position’ for average person in each group. Made assumptions as to 20% deposit and 20 year mortgage of half a house; saving through kiwi saver, are frugal and try their best to live within their means. Results indicate between BSc and technology based apprentices, by 10 (14) years, degree holders take over but apprentices earn more at the start. B Com and commerce based apprentices, in year 5 -6 and BA and other apprentices also similar but earnings are lower. After 15 years, technology based apprentices have earned more across 15 years and BA the least. Apprentices tend to have capability to purchase house earlier and be able to accumulate assets earlier.

After lunch, we have a keynote from Dr. Damon Whitten from Ako Aotearoa and Mike Styles from the Primary ITO on two upcoming Ako Aotearoa Research initiatives. Mike presents on ‘A NZ dyslexia friendly quality mark’ funded by TEC and overseen and managed by Ako Aotearoa. Internationally 10% of adults with dyslexia generally underachieve in education and choose not to engage in education. Dyslexia is not a disability but is best thought of as a different way of seeing the world. Is not related to intelligence but struggle with text. Quality mark is based on model developed by the British Dyslexia Association. Need to contextualised to a bicultural NZ setting and standards for education management, delivery and inclusiveness. Summarised advantages for learners and providers. Good practice for dyslexic learners also good practice for all learners.

Damon presented on ‘exciting new frontiers for literacy ad numeracy’. Shared the Adult Literacy Practice Model – know what has to be learnt, know the learner and what to do to help learner do the learning. Need to integrate learner agency – problem solving and self-learning skills. Summarised study on ‘how do lower skilled adults deal with novel problems and learning challenges?’ need to help people move from ‘fixed thinking’ to become more flexible, especially to stop using established or experienced ways to do things. Engaging learners in novel problems that they do not know how to solve, provide them with heuristic method and they can use this to help them solve the problem. Emphasised the importance for developing self learning skills – self-regulated learning, effective learning strategies and ongoing practice. Shared several learning strategies relevant to L & N.

The ‘Women in the trades’ session follows with a panel discussion on ‘employers’ perspectives of the benefits and barriers to women in trades and what they are doing to lead change’. Presented on the benefits to employers; perceived barriers of employing women; current behaviours and beliefs; and changes that can help employers and industries become more gender diverse. Erica Cummings (BCITO) Mced the session with 4 employers (1 female) on the panel, providing their perspectives. Each provided background on their company and their perspectives. 
Mark Williams then provided overview and summary of the project. Included how the various parts of the project inform and connect across. Presented the research objectives, methodology and findings. Generally, female employers, large companies, companies with females in leadership roles and automotive engineering tended to employ comparatively larger numbers of women. Women brought 'attention to detail' and 'softening of workplace behaviours' but barriers included lack of physical strength and 'might get pregnant'. Many trades jobs come about through word of mouth, advertising the job seen as a useful method to open opportunities for women. Offering flexible work arrangements, partnership with schools and widening circle of people they talk to about a job all assist. Proposed strategies for assisting businesses to employ more women in the trades.

The conference closes with thoughts from Josh Williams.

NZ Vocational Education and Training (VET) research forum - DAY TWO EARLY MORNING


Professor Pat Walsh, the Chair of the ITF opens the second day of the conference. A drizzly, grey and windy day in Wellington, so good to be indoors enjoying the conference and the company of kindred spirits.

Day two then begins with a keynote from the Honourable Steven Joyce, former Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment and author of an Australian report ‘Strengthening skills review of Australian VET sector: Skills training reform: a Trans-Tasman view’. Provided background on the Australian review and using this to comment on the current RoVE in NZ. The review is now followed by putting into place, the recommendations. From his viewpoint, Australia had viewed the NZ VET process as beening successful! And yet NZ is in the process of a major change. Both countries challenged by the rapid changes in the nature of work / employment and skill needs. All countries experience cycles of rise and fall of student numbers. When employment is high, there will be low in enrolments in ITPs. Australia has school leaving age of 18 and a very strong university sector, putting the squeeze on TAFEs with regards to potential students. Asked the question, what is skills training and if it did not exist, would we invent it? Yes. Common sense tells us that ‘learning by doing’ / ‘earn while you learn’ involving experience and applied learning are required. If we have VET, what are the attributes of the system. Most important to have support of employers. NZ has taken 30 years to have growing numbers of trainees and apprentices. Important to ensure the things that work are supported and enhanced. VET must provide clear pathways for learners – i.e. school to VET and then training to work. Always a challenge to start apprenticeships in new industries. NZ has Skills pathway and better accessible information on careers. Strong industry voice still required in schools. Pathways from study, whether uni or VET, into work still a challenge. A good VET system must provide the skills required by people to get a job. Flexibility and agility in updating qualifications is important. Addition of ‘academic freedom’ into VET system argued to perhaps not be required?! Moving to just one monolithic provision, may stifle choice and eventually quality. Regulation across the sector still important. Substantiated why NZ VET should not go through change as the system is not broken and reasons for change are to shore up the public VET sector, rather than enhance VET for learners and employers.

Then concurrent sessions begin and I attend the presentation by Mandy McGirr managing director of McGirr Training, on ‘helping youth to develop employability and to signal what employers seek--- soft skills, transferable skills and work experience’. One of the purposed of education and qualification system is employability development. Employability development can be envisaged as a short or long game focus. Short game is getting a job and can be any job, mostly low pay/security. Long game focus is to provide greater mobility / progression / security (i.e. career managing). Asks the question ‘ what are the employability development support roles (or potential roles) of the NZ public education / qualification system and its players? What is the role or ‘value add’ of the VET systems? Who will do what role and how? Defined for the purposes of her work, soft/non-cognitive skills, transferable skills, work experience, signals and employability development. One resource – UK based – what do employers seek when hiring young workforce entrants? In general employers seek past experience and a range of soft/non-cognitive abilities. Signals are important to connect the skills potential workers have with the perceived required work /occupational skills. Third party signal senders (training providers, referees, other verifications – drivers licence / badges / micro-credentials) are part of the loop. Implications for supporting employability include that gaining skills is only part of the challenge. Individual signalling capability is an important contributor. Work experience provides one key signal for suitability especially providing affordances for learning and practicing soft skills. So what is the role of VET in the provision of employability development?

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

NZ Vocational Education and Training (VET) research forum - DAY ONE AFTERNOON


After lunch, Dr. Karen Vaughan presents a keynote on ‘border crossings and vocational thresholds’. Karen has now moved across to Royal NZ Council of General Practitioners from the NZ Centre for Educational Research (NZVER). Summarised learnings and experiences through 17 years of doing VET research. VET research was very ‘industry-led’ and thought to be ‘for industry’ rather than for education. VET is about using experience to learn an occupation, not just the accumulation of knowledge. Shared the story of ‘learning how to be’ a researcher. Summarised some of her key projects. In the pathways project, the space between school and work was explored and the important finding of people caring more about who they were to be and not what. Shared ‘highlights’ and ‘lowlights’ J Important to not make assumptions and to explore the obvious – as this will sometimes bring up insights. Also to learn from ‘missteps’ and ‘mistakes’. Looking across fields / discipline areas can be productive – ‘knowing knowledge’ project. Provided overview and how the concept of ‘vocational thresholds’ was derived through studying the learning of General practitioners, carpenters and engineering technicians. Reinforced the importance of dispositions in learning an occupation. Karen.vaughan@rnzcgp.org.nz

Concurrent sessions continue and I attend the presentation with Laliofi Ripley (Careerforce), Anne Alkema (ITF) and Dr. Nicky Murray (ITF) on their project (also with Cain Kerehoma (Kia Ora consulting) – Hinatore:upskilling Maori and Pasifika in the workplace. The project explores why programmes work for Maori and Pasifika employees through the context of literacy; to what extend were culturally responsive pedagogy incorporated; and how learners continued beyond the programme. Context of the workplace literacy and numeracy fund to provide 20 – 80 hours (around 7000 employees a year) delivered in the workplace in work time. 8 workplaces, 100 participants – learners, facilitators, employers and whanau – used observations, focus groups and video. Visits occurred at start, middle and end of programme. Shared videos of students’ perception of the programme. Key findings on teaching and learning (ako – reciprocal learning), the learning that had occurred (mahi – workplace / situated learning) and the sense of community (whanau – being part of a family).

Followed on by Amber Paterson from Otago Polytechnic on ‘Learner capability framework (I am capable) and research’. Shared research and implementation of their learner capability framework. Still a work in progress with full integration in 2020. Also trialling with 4 partner secondary schools and 2 primary schools (used by teachers for their PD and students). OP have identified 25 capabilities for example critical thinking, communication orally/ written/ bi-ligually. Which ones would industries identify as being relevant? Outcomes include the aim of ensuring students are able to articulate and evidence the capabilities required. E-portfolio used to showcase their capabilities over and above their formal qualification. Shared resources used to support (on issu – search OP learner capability). Used focus groups across disciplines to identity the industry specific capabilities. Shared one of the videos (of 3 on Youtube). Demo site available on request.

Afternoon tea is followed by one concurrent session and a keynote. I chair Dr. Antje Handelmann’s (Leibniz University) session on “I was like, wow, I wanna be a chef” – the biographical meaning of apprenticeship. This is a qualitative study as part of a PhD- recently completed. Provided background of study – school to work transitions in Germany and NZ. Then summarised and rationalised research method – biographical narrative and case study. Argued that social chances have let to processes of de-structuralisation and placed responsibility on career to individuals in a society challenged by rapid change in the nature of work. Selected Germany (employment centred) and NZ (liberal / market led) due to the major differences between the two countries. Carried 14 interviews in Germany and 7 in NZ – apprentices who had withdrawn from an apprenticeship. Comparisons were made between individual apprentices’ biographies, not with countries. 3 types for searching for occupation – institutional-orientation, recognition-orientated and self-actualisation. Provided examples from each. Shared the conceptualised framework / model derived. Concluded that social changes lead to different life courses with an intersection between individual and society. School to work transition is complex, young people aim to find the ‘right’ path and is a permanent process of searching.

Then key note from Dr. Rose Ryan from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on ‘A research agenda for the NZ labour market of the 2020s’. She is a manager for the workforce and workplace evidence and insights team. Important to bring the various pieces of data from different Ministries to ensure data is not viewed in silos and analysed across disciplines etc. Need to think about the labour market and skills needs differently due to the global megatrends – technology, globalisation, demographics, climate change etc. NZ has dynamic labour market with high levels of participation, a highly skilled workforce and continued growth in employment – especially for those in skilled occupations and across service-based industries. Challenges are to manage diversity and inclusion, responding to future skill needs / changes, utilisation all the capability and capacity of all the population and understand better how work contributes to well-being. Currently, demand for employment is still high, labour market participation is high, medium to long term employment is steady to 2028.
Managing diversity important due to demographic shift with higher numbers of Maori, Pasifika and Asian replacing Pakeha as they retire. There is a high underutilisation / under employment of the population’s capacity. 11% if people who are in work would like more work. NEET rates are still higher than desirable. Underutilisation tends to be short term; young / female (particularly mothers) and in community, personal services, sales and labouring occupations and retail, accommodation and food, education and healthcare industries.
Need to prepare workforce for high skill occupations which will increase into 2029 when compared to elementary and skilled-semi-skilled jobs. Crucial to understand the effect of automation, digitisation and AI. Who will be affected? How will it affect occupations and jobs? Non-routine work, managing people, unpredictable work, work requiring judgment etc. least likely to be impacted.
PIACC shows mismatch between qualification / field of study and current occupation. NZ have highly skilled workforce but not much known about how employers make decisions as to who they employ and how they select. Still much work required in this area.
The contribution of work to well-being also requires study. What is job quality in the NZ context. Job Quality include physical environment, social environment, work intensity, skills and discretion, working time quality, prospects and earnings. If NZ wants to focus on high quality jobs, what are they? Survey of Working life (2018) indicates job quality includes employment relationships / multiple job-holding (more than one job); non-standard working relationships; work related training; skills matching; job security and tenure; and workplace autonomy. Important to develop workforce wellbeing – develop human capital, invest in skills for the future, encourage lifelong learning, leverage technology to generate opportunities for decent and meaningful work, strengthen labour/employment/income protection.

Josh provides a brief overview of the day.

The day closes with a networking function to celebrate the completion of the ‘Women in the Trades’ research project, launched by the Minister of Women, the Honourable Julie Ann Genter.

NZ Vocational Education and Training (VET) research forum - DAY ONE MORNING


In Wellington today and tomorrow for the annual NZ VET research forum. This is the 15th year this conference has been convened and sadly the last. One of the outcomes of the NZ Review of VocationalEducation (RoVE) is the disestablishment of Industry Training Organisations (ITO). This conference has been organised by the Industry Training Federation (ITF) which has been a convening community of practice for the ITOs.

The day begins with a welcome from Josh Williams, the Chief Executive of the Industry Training Federation. Began with a video summarising the 15 years of the conference, the diversity of research topics, researchers from across the sectors (industry, polytechnics (ITPs), universities, ITOs, private training providers etc.) and the contribution from international experts. Called for contributions to provide ideas for ‘what shall we do next?’ Overviewed the challenges presented through RoVE but to park this and to make the most of opportunities presented at this conference. Presented a crystal ball recommendation to ‘learn from the past’ and some guidelines for skills learning moving into the future.

The first keynote is with the Honourable Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education. The minister began with how 15 years ago, the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) was formed. The world has moved rapidly on and there are now many new challenges. Significantly, there is a need for all workers to continually re-train / develop their skills to keep up with shifts in workforce needs. Call to ensure school learning is not only focused on the 30% who will go directly into university but the 60% who will move on into VET or work. However, outcomes from attaining a degree are not always guarantees for continued material success or work satisfaction. Rationalised the key approaches as proposed through RoVE. Continual post-education development is now a standard requirement. Barriers to VET need to be broken to provide flexible and accessible opportunities where and when required. On and off job learning/training have to be seamless. Emphasised that the advantages in the current NZ system will be drawn on and supported. Encouraged continuity of VET research and the importance of application of findings / recommendations etc. to practice. NZ has to build a uniquely NZ solution to make work, work for all NZers. Updated on progress on RoVE including formation of the NZ Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST), Work Development Boards (WDB) and Centres for Vocational Excellence (CoVEs).

Second keynote of the day is from Dr. Marco Paccanella, who is the Director of the Department for Education and Skills at the OECD. He presents on ‘the changing role of TVET in the international policy discourse’ as based on data from PIACC. Slight change of gear from the Minister’s address! VET across countries are often very different, so comparisons can be challenging. Covered the changing role of VET. Used to be something for (disadvantaged) youth, to upgrade from low to middle skills etc. – see 2010Learning for Jobs OECD report. However, skills beyond schooling are now of greater importance – see Skills beyond school OECD report. Therefore shift from VET to post education training (PET) to ensure continued education and training for populace as the future of work is impacted on by technology. Now, - see Future-ready adult learning systems 2019 OECD report. Shift from initial to continual training due to skill obsolescence (Deming 2017), skills displacement actually impacts predominantly higher-skilled workers McGuiness, Pouliakas& Redmond, 2019)! See Nedelkoska & Quintini (2018) who used PIACC date to look at variations between sectors with regards to impact of automation on industry sectors. High risk to manufacturing, agriculture and low skilled services but hard to automate include social intelligence, cognitive intelligence, perception and manipulation. Shared data of the mismatch between people who would like to participate in continual training and availability /access. The workers who need it most, are most likely to NOT participate! Shortage of time, lack of financial resources were main reasons blocking participation. Shared policy decisions that may assist. Foster mind-set of learning among firms and workers, lower barriers to training, make training rights portable, align to work skill needs. Presented on WHERE NZ stands. Employers unable to recruit staff with required skills at the going rate of pay. Shortage in hard to find skills but surplus of easy to find skills. Check Skills for Jobs indicators on the OECD website. Also shared the priorities for adult learning dashboard. There are 7 dimensions and 7 synthetic indicators. Urgency (NZ stands well), Provision (high from employers and organisations), inclusiveness (good), flexibility and guidance (more average), alignment (average), perceived impact (high for usefulness of training and average wage returns), financing (average – could be better support). In general, NZ performs pretty well but this is not a reason to NOT reform.

After morning tea, concurrent sessions begin. I attend the session with Associate Professor Jane Bryson from the Centre for Labour, Employment, and Work, Victoria University on ‘collective voice and access to training’. Workers in NZ do not actually have guarantee to the provision of training, unless it is stated in the employment contract or legislation requires (e.g. construction industry). Getting a say in training is impacted on power relationships present in organisations and workplaces. Relevant now as per need for workers to continual training to upskill for future of work requirements. See ILO (2019) –work for a brighter future and OECD (2019) Getting skills right – reports. Meeting learning opportunities for workers is usually low priority for employers. Collective voice may be one approach towards attaining on-going training and development opportunities. RoVE and update for Tertiary Education strategy are opportunities for workers to be upheld. Presented on recent research on whether collective workers’ voice would impact on access to training. Studied the collective contracts database to find out if training provisions written in. Then analysed if the entitlement was meaningful. In 2015, 87% of collective employment agreements have training of skill development provision. Public sector workers more likely to have training. Industries with fewer collective agreements, tend to have less provision for training. Did workers who had training provision entitlement, use them or were satisfied with the provisions. Used Fuller and Unwin expansive vs restrictive approaches to workforce development as a way to compare collective agreements 25% were expansive and 75% restrictive!! Interviews with union officials to establish a deeper understanding. Identified key conditions for success expressed by the officials and strategies they used to try to make training provisions in collective agreements more expansive. Important to ensure that entitlement and opportunity also includes supporting workers’ agency to access and making use of the potentialities.

Then I present on details of the seven sub-projects from the e-assessment project. Presented overview of the project including the research methodology and how the guidelines were derived from the inquiry cycles undertaken to develop and deploy e-assessments for learning.