Information for HITO apprentices and their employers about the Vocational Education Training Reform proposed by Government.

What is the reform?

This week the Government presented a proposal to reform the current vocational education system, including apprenticeship training and training offered by Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics.

At this point, it is only a proposal and there is a six-week consultation period to get feedback from learners and from industries. Submissions close April 5, 2019.

How will it affect my apprenticeship?

Your apprenticeship will continue as usual this year. There will be no immediate change in how we support your apprenticeship.

The proposed changes will not affect your qualification.

If you have any concerns, please contact your Sales and Training Advisor

What does this reform mean for employers?

There will be no immediate change in training agreements between employers, HITO and apprentices. Off-job training will continue as planned for 2019.

If the reform goes ahead as proposed, a new, national polytechnic will take over HITO’s current role organising and supporting apprenticeship training. This polytechnic will also conduct off-job training.

How will this proposal change what HITO does?

Under the proposal, all Industry Training Organisations will be disbanded. Employers and apprentices would no longer be members of a training organisation or be able to elect a Board to represent them.The current standard-setting and qualification role of an ITO would be handled by Industry Skills Bodies, which would receive funding from the Government and be managed by Government.

The Industry Skills Bodies’ role would be to:

  • provide skills leadership, coordinating industry to identify and plan future skills needs
  • set and develop skills standards and qualifications
  • approve programmes in vocational education across the system
  • work with Centres of Excellence on curriculum development
  • moderate assessments
  • advise TEC on funding priorities.

ITOs could apply to become ISBs.

If the reform goes ahead as proposed, a new, national polytechnic will take over HITO’s current role organising and supporting apprenticeship training. This polytechnic will also conduct off-job training.

Does HITO support the reform?

As a member organisation, it is HITO’s responsibility to support what our members want.

We are supportive of a reform of the Vocational Education Training system as a whole and acknowledge there are issues that need addressing.

We are concerned that the successful apprenticeship training system may get lost in the proposed changes. The current ITO system was created in 1992 to address concerns that public tertiary institutions were not flexible or responsive enough to meet the industries’ needs for skills.

ITOs are currently charitable organisations, governed by industry members. The Hair and Beauty Industry Training Organisation has strong industry representation and engagement, ensuring the qualifications and training are meeting our industries’ needs. We have concerns that by separating the standard-setting and training arrangement roles, industry input will be weakened.

We are concerned that shifting the organisation of workplace training for all industries to a single government institution may not be as responsive for hairdressing, barbering and beauty employers as the current ITO structure.

HITO currently work with ITPs across the country to deliver off-job training for our industries. We support reform of the ITP sector to ensure it is sustainable and able to offer training for all regions.

How can I give feedback?

HITO will be organising events across the country where you can give feedback. We will let you know by text, email and through our social media channels when these are.

You can email us comments to add to our submission:

You can send an email with your comments to

You can fill out this online survey (you don’t have to answer all the questions)

How do I find out more?

HITO Chief Executive Kay Nelson explains what the changes could mean for hairdressers, barbers and beauty therapists in this video

The Korero Matauranga website has more detail about the reform

The Government’s factsheet for learners/apprentices

The Government’s factsheet for employers

HITO press release

Recent Posts