What Workforce Development Councils will do

Each WDC will work with industry and employers to understand the skills that are needed. This information will be passed to education and training providers, who will be expected to create learning programmes that will give people relevant skills to address future workforce needs.

WDCs will lead the development of industry qualifications, they will set industry standards and assess training provision against these industry standards. Where appropriate, WDCs will set and help with capstone assessments at the end of a qualification. Industry standards will be consistently applied across the country, and across all modes of learning, whether on the job (such as apprenticeships), on campus or online.

WDCs will also endorse vocational education programmes prior to them being approved by NZQA. 

As well as engaging with industry and employers, each WDC will work collaboratively across the vocational education sector. WDCs will engage with Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs), Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) and Providers (Te Pūkenga, Wānanga and Private Training Establishments (PTEs).

WDCS will also engage with a range of parties to help inform and prioritise their service delivery. These include the Ministry of Education (MoE), Advocacy Groups, Learners, Te Taumata Aronui, Government agencies and schools.

Workforce Development Council functions are set out in legislation 

The key functions of WDCs are set out in Section 366 of the Education and Training Act 2020

These functions are:

  • to provide skills and workforce leadership for the specified industries, including by identifying their current and future needs and advocating for those needs to be met through its work with the industries and with schools, providers, regional bodies, and the Government
  • to develop, set, and maintain skill standards
  • to develop and maintain industry qualifications for listing on the Qualifications Framework and to maintain qualifications for which it has become the qualifications developer
  • to develop and maintain training schemes
  • to develop and maintain training packages
  • to develop, set, and maintain capstone assessments based on the needs of the specified industries
  • to decide whether to endorse programmes developed by providers
  • to carry out moderation activities in relation to any standards and capstone assessments it sets
  • to provide employers with brokerage and advisory services approved by TEC
  • to advise TEC about its overall investment in vocational education and training and the mix of vocational education and training needed for the 1 or more specified industries covered by the workforce development council in the manner required by TEC
  • to represent the interests of the specified industries
  • to perform any other functions conferred on it by the Minister in relation to the specified industries
  • For the purposes of subsection (1)(g), the Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, specify criteria relating to when a workforce development council must endorse a programme before it may be approved by NZQA under section 439.

Expectations about the way WDCs will work are set out in section 369 of the Education and Training Act 2020

In performing their functions, WDCs must take into account the needs of employers and employees in the industries covered by their WDC; we must also consider national and regional interests. WDCs are also expected to collaborate with providers - including wānanga - other WDCs and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). 

As a priority WDCs must have regard for the needs of Māori and other population groups identified in the Tertiary Education Strategy. We must also comply with any agreed quality assurance requirements set by NZQA relating to the performance of our functions.