Memorandum of Collaboration with the New Zealand Defence Force

The New Zealand Defence Force has signed a Memorandum of Collaboration with New Zealand’s six Ohu Ahumahi Workforce Development Councils to further aid one of the things it already does extremely well – developing its people through workplace training.

The Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) provides a framework for the Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) to contribute to productive and valued outcomes in vocational training and education.

NZDF is one of the largest and most versatile training focused organisations in the country. It offers its personnel access to more than 100 vocational qualifications that complement their military and trade training. With achievement rates at over 90%, the NZDF is a proven effective training organisation, its personnel achieving comparable success rates across all ethnicities, genders and other communities.

The six WDCs – Ringa Hora, Muka Tangata, Hanga-Aro-Rau, Waihanga Ara Rau, Toi Mai, and Toitū te Waiora – are the bodies that develop vocational qualifications and assessment standards for the workforce for training and education providers to deliver. It’s vitally important that the right skills are being developed and credentialed within the nation’s workplaces. The signing of the MoC provides a framework for the NZDF and the WDCs to identify these skills, and support their assessment using qualifications that align to the workplace.

Ringa Hora is the WDC that focuses on the nation’s services sector. Chief Executive, Kari Scrimshaw, says the MoC is a great opportunity for WDCs and the NZDF to understand each other’s needs.

“They (NZDF) get a chance to tell us their longer-term strategic needs, and we can think about how we might meet those needs collectively,” she says. “It’s a highlight of what the new vocational system might become.”

“Like all good relationships, WDCs and NZDF start with a common uara (value). In this case, it is developing people and a shared desire to nurture and develop potential through good work-based learning opportunities. However, collaboration takes more than interest and intention. It takes hard work, trust and commitment. With the signing of this MoC, our collaborative journey has begun.”

The Commander of the New Zealand Defence College, Group Captain Bernadette Pothan, says he sees the signing of this memorandum as “Signifying both organisations’ commitment to work together to ensure that NZDF ākonga (students) have continued access to qualifications, following the New Zealand Government reimaging the delivery of vocational education.

“While the alignment of qualifications to defence training assists the NZDF to meet its operational responsibilities, it also supports NZDF personnel to develop dispositions as lifelong learners who seek future qualification opportunities.”

Ringa Hora will take the lead role among the WDCs as the defence sector falls under its remit, but all the WDCs are involved because of the huge range of qualifications sought by NZDF personnel.

The MoC is another step forward in realising the vision of Ohu Ahumahi – the collective WDCs, where people are at the centre, with endless possibilities to choose their own path, and where businesses thrive and are empowered to determine their own direction.

As part of the MoC, the NZDF will set up a leadership group that includes managers from all WDCs. The parties will meet up to three times a year to look at shared interests and ensure that qualifications meet the needs of NZDF’s workforce.