Toi Mai Hero

Toi Mai is the Ohu Ahumahi - Workforce Development Council for the creative, cultural, recreation and technology sectors.

Our kaupapa is to enhance vocational education and training to meet industry needs. We are a new organisation whose goal is to ensure the workforce of Aotearoa has the skills it needs for the world of work today, and for the future.

Investment Advice to TEC

Toi Mai Workforce Development Council develops investment advice for the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) to enhance vocational education and training to meet industry needs.

This is submitted in accordance with the functions of the Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) set out in sections 366 (j) and 411 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

If you have any queries in relation to the investment advice Toi Mai has developed and/or the 2024 funding from the PTE Strategic Fund, please email us at

  • Background and key documents

    Toi Mai and the Regional Skills Leadership Groups provided theme-level advice to TEC in December 2022 [PDF, 284 KB], which helped to inform the broader priorities for the Plan Guidance (For providers submitting plan for funding from 1 January 2024)(external link).

    In April 2024, WDCs provided targeted advice to TEC on the mix of vocational education and training that will inform content in the TEC’s Supplementary Plan Guidance, to be published in early June 2023. This targeted advice provides an overview of our sectors and advice [PDF, 1.2 MB], and is best read alongside the accompanying detailed data scan and insights in Appendix A [PDF, 8 MB].

    Toi Mai is confident that the advice provided in these documents are robust and evidence based with feedback from peak industry bodies integrated. The following considerations underpin this advice:

    • Toi Mai is a newly established organisation with recently formed sub-sectors (Ngā Peka o Toi), described in more detail on page 5. Only one (Toi Pāho) has a Workforce Development Plan, with the remainder scheduled for completion between now and the end of the 2024 calendar year.
    • Although TEC has directed us to prioritise funding advice between our sectors, Toi Mai is unable to pit one off against another due to:
      • Historic underfunding for many of our industries and vocational qualifications
      • The wide and diverse span of our sectors and providers
      • The absence of an overarching future-focused national industry policy to guide
        industry prioritisation.
    • There is low data quality and availability across Toi Mai industries, particularly those in the creative and cultural sectors, which makes it hard to advise on actual numbers of funded learners required. Some sectors were not previously covered by industry training organisations (ITO). The hairdressing and beauty, equine, conservation, recreation and parts of the performing arts sectors are the exception here as they were covered by former ITOs. For the rest of our sectors, most vocational education pathways are poorly developed or non-existent and data sources are limited, or non-existent in the case of Toi Māori.
    • Toi Mai is in an extended discovery phase focused on developing stakeholder relationships with industry, providers, and key organisations. Over the next few years, we anticipate getting to more granular levels of advice as we complete sector specific workforce development plans. 
  • Other priorities

    It is important to acknowledge that workforce development gaps experienced by Toi Mai industries are not simply related to the provision of qualifications or investment in funded enrolments in the formal VET sector. Other priorities to be addressed include:

    He wai mārama - Making Ngā Peka o Toi roles visible, coherent and accessible

    • Career pathways into, and knowledge about, Toi Mai industry roles are currently invisible and there are many biases at school level that rule rangatahi out of Toi Mai careers before they even leave school.
    • A large proportion of the Toi Mai workforce is mid-career changers for whom current vocational education assumptions and provision do not suit (even after the vocational reforms).

    Hei wao taunga manu rere - Supporting people to enter and grow in our workplaces

    • Many of the industries covered by Toi Mai do not provide culturally safe and inclusive workplace environments for workers, underpinned by a lack of awareness of what businesses and industries need to do to support workforce diversity and equity.
    • There is an absence of diversity in senior and management roles in some Toi Mai industries.

    Hei rākau whai hua - Delivering training that meets the needs of Ngā Peka o Toi

    • Formal government education funding, qualification and provider settings are still not fit for purpose or nimble enough to address industry need, despite the vocational reforms.
    • A large proportion of the businesses Toi Mai covers are self-employed contractors/independent earners and subject matter experts that are too small to provide work-based learning.
    • Current Unified Funding System (UFS) settings do not incentivise Te Pūkenga and other providers to deliver to smaller cohort, high technical skill-based qualifications needed by Toi Mai industries.

    Hei aka here tahi, ka pū orange rau - Working collectively to build and maintain a healthier Wao Nui o Toi

    • It appears failed policy, industrial infrastructure and productivity settings may be contributing to insecure and unsustainable careers in the creative industries.
    • Industrial classification metrics that disregard Ngā Toi Māori occupations and industries may be in potential breach of the government’s Te Tiriti o Waitangi Article 2 responsibilities.
    • Beyond the reporting and advising relationship of Toi Mai to the TEC, there is a need for a more cohesive partnership across education, government and industry to build a healthy and collaborative industry/training/workforce ecosystem. Toi Mai is working on this aspect and will be seeking support on this.

Kia ora, Talofa lava, Kia Orana, Ni sa bula, Mālō e lelei, Noa’ia, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Mauri, Mālo ni, Fakatalofa atu and warm Pacific greetings,

Toi Mai WDC is organising two upcoming events to achieve the following outcomes:

  1. To review music, dance, drama and performing arts level 3-6 qualifications, gathering your valuable feedback and perspectives on these qualifications and what needs to change or improve.
  2. To hear your valuable voice and insights (as credible individuals/sole traders/groups/businesses working in the creative industry) and to further understand what workforce skills are needed as well as the gaps within your part of the creative industry. 
  3. A scan of creative industry needs in general. We have seen first-hand the impact of COVID-19 on our industry, programmes, providers, practitioners and we are keen to hear your views on how we can improve qualifications as well as the quality of advice we are responsible for sending to the Tertiary Education Commission.

We are inviting all our Pacific creatives to join us for an evening of sharing, learning and collaboration at either of the following Creatives Talanoa events: 

Ōtautahi Christchurch 

Date: Wednesday 14 June 2023 

Venue: Elim Church, Christchurch  

Address: 285 Cashel Street  

Time: 6pm to 9pm* 

Porirua City, Wellington  

Date: Thursday 15 June 2023 

Venue: Pātaka - Helen Smith Community room 

Address: 17 Parumoana Street, Porirua 

Time: 6pm to 9pm* 

*Dinner and refreshments will be provided on the night.

Numbers are limited, please register your interest by completing the RSVP form by Friday 9 June. 

Te Wao Nui o Toi is a report which conveys industry views on addressing the acute shortage of skilled below-the-line production workers in Toi Pāho: defined for the purposes of the report as the film, television and interactive media industries.

Toi Pāho industry members and education providers were invited to give feedback on the report's goals and recommendations, and highlight ways these may be achieved.
The feedback will then inform the final recommendations and advice to the Tertiary Education Commission for investing in vocational education and training for Toi Pāho careers, and MBIE for its support of the sector. It will also influence future work by Toi Mai to support the sector in the development of its workforce capability. 
An action plan and roadmap will be created to align industry and workforce training to 2032.

For more information, visit Toi Pāho - Screen-sector Capability and Development Plan.

Updated 15 April, 2023.