New Canterbury vocational training organisation approved

New Canterbury vocational training organisation approved

CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic are delighted to receive the go-ahead to create a new organisation, following the announcement by Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce on 10 November, that the proposal from the CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic Councils has been approved. The new organisation will be operational for the 2016 academic year and initially trade under the name CPIT Aoraki. It is intended that a new name will be launched in the new year.

This announcement follows eighteen months of work by the institutes to explore all the options for the future of vocational training for Canterbury and submission of a joint Business Case to the Minister for consideration in August. The Tertiary Education Commission subsequently released the proposal for public consultation on the Minister's behalf.

"This is fantastic news for the future of vocational training in Canterbury following a thorough process," CPIT Council Chair Jenn Bestwick said. "The new organisation opens the way for implementing new and innovative ways of learning and improving accessibility across the region."

Aoraki Polytechnic Chair Janie Annear agreed that the new organisation model had emerged as the most exciting and viable option for continuing to deliver excellent tertiary education cross the whole region. "Learners and local industries will benefit enormously," she said. "There are some very exciting plans in the pipeline that we can now progress and make a reality."

The new organisation will provide applied tertiary education to the Canterbury region with access to a greater number of programmes, in a larger number of centres, supported with better services. In the future the new organisation will be the platform for creating Centres of Excellence which will be nationally focused hubs that will engage with industry and attract local and international students to Canterbury. Planned Centres of Excellence servicing key industries include primary industries, health, broadcasting, sustainable practice, tourism and trades.

By being more accessible, we also intend to support economic activity in the region.

CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic will now start to transition to the new model for the remainder of 2015 and will begin operating from 1 January 2016. In the meantime, students can join Canterbury's new vocational training organisation by enrolling at either CPIT or Aoraki Polytechnic, confident that their study will be transitioned to the new organisation.

Aoraki Polytechnic will be disestablished on 31 December 2015 as part of the transition process. It is anticipated that most Aoraki staff will be transferred into the legal entity of CPIT except where there is clear duplication in functional responsibility and/or no need for the service provided. The Business Case identified that a resizing of the new organisation would need to happen to ensure continuity of delivery across the Canterbury region in a sustainable way. The educational delivery profile of the new organisation will therefore determine its staffing needs.

For graduates of both institutes, CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic qualifications will continue to be recognised here and overseas and accredited through the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA).