The ‘ConCOVE’ consortia has been successful in its bid to form the Centre of Vocational Excellence for the construction and infrastructure industries, the Government has announced.

This will constitute one of the TEC’s first two pilot CoVEs, along with that for New Zealand’s primary industries sector, also due to be established in mid-2020.

Ultimately, yet more CoVEs will be created, as a vital component of the Government’s Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE). These groups will be charged with improving innovation and performance throughout vocational education by strengthening the links between industry, researchers, communities and the vocational education sector itself.

In April of this year, Prime Minister Rt Hon. Jacinda Ardern, the Hon. Jenny Salesa, Minister for Building and Construction and other associated Ministers jointly signed the ‘Construction Sector Accord’ in collaboration with construction sector leaders.

This was intended to give Government and industry a new facility to partner with each other towards solving long-term sectorial challenges such as a lack of business resilience, poor business and procurement practices and an adversarial culture.

The Accord team were tasked with developing a CoVE governance structure that met the needs of all industry stakeholders including employers, unions and learners, with a focus on achieving gradual improvement to the quality of construction-related vocational education and considering how to best employ new and change-bringing ideas, technologies and practices.

The Accord’s Graham Burke, President of Specialist Trade Contractors Federation and Chair of the NZ Construction Industry Council and Bill Newson, National Secretary of E Tū, engaged with Ara Institute of Canterbury Ltd, Manukau Institute of Technology, Unitec, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, BCITO, The Skills Organisation, NZ Construction Industry Council, Vertical Horizonz and Connexis to bring ‘ConCOVE’ into being.

“Ara trades students already have access to the latest techniques, equipment and technologies, but ConCOVE’s mission is deliver education that’s even more responsive to the latest intelligence from industry as well as Government partners. We’re also extremely focussed on keeping the learner at the centre of everything we do in terms of being inclusive, progressive and proactive” says Dennis Taylor, HOD of Ara’s Department of Trades.

Ara Institute of Canterbury Ltd is well-placed to supply conCOVE with valuable insights, as the Institute’s trades programmes deliver qualifications that are nationally recognised and endorsed by over 160 industry partners.

Furthermore, these relationships enable Ara to initiate projects that enhance learning and promote research and technology transfer, and have facilitated the creation of TradeFIT (Trade Future In Training), a project to enhance and expand the trade, industry and infrastructure training that already operates at Ara.

For more information, visit


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here