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Muka Tangata advice TEC on funding, consult on new Future Forestry qualification

Muka Tangata, the People, Food and Fibre Workforce Development Council (WDC), is one of six WDCs established to provide industry and sector voice and advocacy within the vocational education system of Aotearoa New Zealand. The WDCs were set as part of the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) to create a unified and sustainable system that is fit for the future.

Muka Tangata helps industries get the skills and training they need by designing solutions to skill needs, including qualifications, standards and micro-credentials, and advising government on what training to fund. 

They also review and moderate qualifications and standards to best meet the needs of the food and fibre sector.

In its first year, Muka Tangata have worked to establish relationships with key organisations in the food and fibre sector, and specifically with iwi and hāpū Māori organisations to ensure that the aspirations of Māori in the food and fibre sector are clearly heard. 
Initial advice to the Tertiary Education Commission on funding priorities includes increased funding levels to address industry growth and a focus on equity, including continued investment in foundational skills. Advice also included funding greater use of micro-credentials[1] to provide flexibility, improving pastoral care for learners, and building inclusive and culturally appropriate vocational education, and increased support for employers to manage and train their staff. 
Muka Tangata are leading the consultation, design and development of a new qualification in forestry that will enable long term learner success and career progression. Through engagement with Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service, they have identified a gap for a qualification which could provide a stepping-stone for employees wishing to move from technically focused roles into supervision and leadership. The new qualification will sit between the current level 4 and level 6 offerings in the NZQA framework.

“We’re excited by the opportunity to create a fit-for-purpose qualification which will fill a gap identified by the Forestry sector and contribute toward the building of future Forestry leaders.” Craig Langdon, General Manger, Qualifications and Standards, Muka Tangata Workforce Development Council.

Muka Tangata have conducted a Future Forestry Leaders Qualification workshop to discuss consultation and survey results to date. “It was a positive engagement where forestry industry representatives, MPI and training providers came together to review progress.”

The new Level 5 qualification could include leadership and team building, health and safety, computer literacy, Te Ao Māori, forest management, the forestry value chain, new innovations in technologies for forestry and land use classification/land use assessment. In addition, the focus of the design will be to facilitate work-based learning, online and bite sized learning as much as possible. 

Additional workshops, analysis of consultation feedback and industry survey are scheduled as part of this work.

Muka Tangata is developing a specific Forestry workforce development plan. The plan will include a work programme to address both short and long-term challenges, and will guide the advice to the Tertiary Education Commission and industry in March 2023.
If you’d like to contribute to the future recommendations put forward in our workforce development plans please reach out to our Engagement and Partnership Lead, responsible for Forestry, John Henare –

[1] Micro-credentials are a small, stand-alone award that recognise the achievement of specific skills, experience or knowledge.