Government Ministers Jenny Salesa and Chris Hipkins (above) yesterday visited Well Hung Joinery in Ngauranga, Wellington, where three trainees are trialling what BCITO calls Managed Traineeships in kitchen installations.
These Managed Traineeships - aka micro-credentials - are about recognising specific skills within broader trades, like kitchen installation within the broader joinery sector, without having to undertake a full multi-year apprenticeship.
Dan O’Hagan at Well Hung Joinery says the programme is a great idea: “It’s important for the industry to have smaller and more specific qualifications.
"Not all apprentices want to spend four years in an apprenticeship, so this a great way to get the skills and qualifications you want and need.
“I think it will encourage more people into the industry, and more employers to take on apprentices as it reflects the type of environment we are working in.”
BCITO says it will now work on developing additional Managed Traineeships with trades that require them.
What are micro-credentials?
Micro-credentials were developed by NZQA to fast-track vertical skill sets within a formal framework.
The definition of micro-credentials is as follows: "Stand-alone education products that certify the achievement of a set of skills and knowledge required by industry, professional associations, iwi, or the community".
Micro-credentials are smaller than qualifications and may be worth from 5 to 40 credits.
In the broader context, from late August, NZQA will be considering applications from New Zealand TEOs for the approval of micro-credentials.
A separate service will evaluate micro-credentials proposed by international and local organisations that are not tertiary education providers to establish equivalence against the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
NZQA will issue equivalence statements laying out the level and credit value of these education and training products against the NZQF.
This service will be available from October 2018.
(See the August issue of NZ Hardware Journal for more around the construction skills gap.)