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Skills-focused education critical to New Zealand’s future

October 18, 2016 at 03:00 pm

Strengthening New Zealand’s skills and productivity will be in focus of the NZ Vocational Education and Training (VET) Research Forum in Wellington this week.
 
Researchers, educators, government officials and industry representatives with attend a two day event in Wellington, co-hosted by the Industry Training Federation and Ako Aotearoa, to discuss initiatives and evidence that support good-quality vocational and professional education.
The forum will feature new and completed projects that address trades training, applied education, and the relationship between skills and work.
 
“This year’s forum is timely given the Productivity Commission’s recent draft report on new models of tertiary education, ” said Dr Stanley Frielick, Director of Ako Aotearoa, New Zealand’s National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence. “Their report is a reminder that we need to be sure all parts of our system are working well for our learners, and that what we do is based on sound evidence.  This applies no matter what type of education or training we are talking about.”
 
Highlights of this year’s forum include international keynote speakers Professor Ewart Keep, one of the world’s leading experts on the relationship between skills and work, Professor Alison Fuller, a globally influential thinker on apprenticeship training, and John Buchanan, internationally recognised researcher on skill ecosystems.   The Chair of the Productivity Commission, Murray Sherwin, will also deliver an address, one of the first since the release of the Commission’s ‘New Models’ report.
 
“We are pleased and fortunate to have secured such an impressive line-up of speakers at this year’s forum,” said Josh Williams, Chief Executive of the Industry Training Federation.  “Our three international guests are global experts on both skills development and deployment, and the critical role vocational education and training plays in securing a prosperous economy and society.”
 
The forum will cover a wide range of topics, including the role of technology, employer and learner views on linking education and work, literacy issues, and present major new survey results.  The event will also launch publications from three recent workplace learning projects.
 
The New Zealand Vocational Education and Training Research Forum is New Zealand’s largest annual forum devoted to covering research on vocational, professional, and skills-based education and training. First hosted in 2004 by the Industry Training Federation, it is now managed as a partnership between the ITF and Ako Aotearoa.

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