Stephen Town Zoom hui a success.

Over 70 TEU members met with Te Pūkenga Chief Executive Stephen Town and Deputy CE Delivery and Academic Angela Beaton in an online forum last week to discuss progress in the Reform of Vocational Education.

TEU members and staff came away feeling energised by the frank dialogue from both sides and Mr Town’s willingness to tackle what he referred to as “the gnarly questions.”

In his opening presentation, Stephen Town noted issues in the progress towards the creation of a single network of provision for vocational education bringing together Aotearoa’s polytechnics and industry training organisations. He said “the pace needs to pick up so we can hit all our milestones this year and arrive at 1 January 2023 ready to go and having a staff throughout the organisation that feel motivated and energised about the opportunities in front of us.”

Questions from the TEU members present ranged from the nuts and bolts of the fledgling institute’s operating model to communication and information flow, timeframes for change, research, drivers for change and what all this means for staff on a day-to-day basis. All questions that were unable to be asked due to time constraints will be answered in writing.

On the matter of communication, one of the things most members tended to agree could be better, Stephen Town said he was hopeful that his upcoming ability to communicate directly with all staff, rather than through their current employers, would improve things considerably including facilitating more communication and feedback.

“From 11th of March we’ve got a new email tool that is due to go live and be available for me to be able to email every staff member direct, anyone with an email address at an ITP or business unit.” He also expressed a keenness to “create a track record of trusted communication that you want to engage in with me.”

At the conclusion of the hui, all parties agreed to keep the dialogue going. As Stephen Town concluded, “we enjoy doing it and we hope there will be more of these as the year progresses.”