About us

The role of Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) is to ensure the vocational education system meets industry needs and gives a stronger voice to Māori business and iwi development. We will give our sectors, employers, independent earners and volunteers greater leadership and influence across vocational education.

Introduction

Although Toi Mai sectors make a massive contribution to the economy and culture of Aotearoa, they don’t all currently have a strong voice in the vocational education system. Success for us will mean connecting with entrepreneurial, independent earners and employers - including Māori business owners – as well as volunteers, to bring the benefits of vocational education to life for them.

The sectors we represent 

Toi Mai Workforce Development Council represents sectors including Creative, Technology, Entertainment, Hairdressing & Barbering, Makeup Artistry, Skincare, Journalism, Radio & Television Broadcasting, Gambling, and Sports & Recreation. 

What we will do

We will work with employers, independent earners and volunteers to understand the skills that are needed by our sectors. This information will be passed to education and training providers, who will be expected to create learning programmes that will give people relevant skills to address future workforce needs. 

We will lead the development of relevant qualifications, set industry standards and assess training provision against these standards. Where appropriate, we will set and help with capstone assessments at the end of a qualification. Industry standards will be consistently applied across the country, and across all modes of learning, whether on the job (such as apprenticeships), on campus or online. 

We will also endorse vocational education programmes prior to them being approved by NZQA.  

Who we will work with

As well as engaging with employers and independent earners, we will work collaboratively across the vocational education sector. We will engage with Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs), Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) and Providers (Te Pūkenga, Wānanga and Private Training Establishments (PTEs)). 

We will also engage with a range of parties to help inform and prioritise their service delivery. These include the Ministry of Education (MoE), Advocacy Groups, Learners, Te Taumata Aronui, Government agencies and schools. 

Our logo 

Our logo is an image of a taura whiri, a plaited rope. The taura whiri, plaited rope has been used as a metaphor by kaiwhaikōrero (orators) to connect whānau groups through a shared ancestor and to acknowledge a leader’s ability to bring people together. It has been applied to various situations where elements come together in unity. The taura/rope is made by plaiting aho (strands) made from rolled muka (scraped flax strands). Creating a stronger taura (rope) than the aho could on their own.  

Our logo colour relates to Māori culture and the connection between people and nature.  There are many stories of origin relating to ‘Toi’, including an ancestor arriving from the Pacific. In some accounts his children bringing carvings from the Pacific Islands. Similarly one of the stories of carving origin refers to carving being retrieved from Ruatepupuke, a carved house under the ocean. So the Toi Mai colour references these links to the ocean as the source of Toi. 

How our Workforce Development Council was established 

Extensive consultation with industry and the vocational education sector took place prior to our WDC being stood up on 4 October 2021.  

The establishment of WDCs was led by WDC Interim Establishment Boards (iEBs) that were made up of industry representatives, a number of whom were subsequently appointed to the permanent WDC Council. The main role of iEBs was to oversee the legal establishment of WDCs, which occurred through an Orders in Council (OiC) process.  

Our Order in Council 

The iEB was responsible for consulting with industry and developing an OiC that outlined the name of our WDC, industries represented, governance arrangements and other core aspects of their WDC. More than 200 people and organisations provided feedback on the draft OiCs. This engagement helped ensure our WDC was established in ways that will best meet industry needs. 

Once approved by the Minister of Education, OiCs were sent to the Governor-General for signature. On Monday 10 May 2021 Her Excellency the Governor-General, Patsy Reddy, gave Royal Assent, passing in to law, OiCs establishing the six WDCs. The legislation came into effect on 11 June 2021.  

See the Toi Mai Order in Council.