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Engagement begins on draft Te Pūkenga Operating Model

By UCOL on Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Staff and learners at UCOL, and Manawatū employers and iwi are encouraged to engage with the proposed Te Pūkenga Operating Model shared this week.

UCOL Chief Executive Linda Sissons says the operating model provides a high-level view of the functions and services needed to meet the needs of learners, their whānau and employers – what we will do, and how we will create that future experience.

“The proposed Operating Model describes the future experience that learners, employers, staff and iwi, hapū and Māori will have and how we will advance equity, especially for Māori, Pacific, and disabled learners,” she says.

“By bringing together, into a single national network, all the vocational learning that goes on in workplaces and on campuses, Te Pūkenga will give more choice and will enhance career pathways for people right across our rohe. We look forward to helping Te Pūkenga support our region, and build on the work we’ve done to support the amazing people and communities that live and work here.”

The proposed operating model includes three key areas:
  1. Strategic functions interact with and support other parts of the network and system to form strategic insights and embed the network’s strategic direction. They identify opportunities for innovation, measure the impact of initiatives and interventions, and the network’s performance.
  2. Enabling functions sustain the other functions and information flows between them to enable quality, certainty and consistency across the network. Bringing together these core enabling functions also drives efficiencies and reduces duplication within the network.
  3. Teaching, learning, support and navigation functions determine how we interact directly with our learners, their whānau, and employers to deliver high quality education and effective holistic wellbeing support and empowerment.
Ako networks will bring together teams to use their knowledge, skills and competencies to support learners. Some will align to specific industries, vocational pathways and Workforce Development Councils to deliver teaching and learning and support work-based skills across the motu. Other ako networks will cover aspects of delivery such as learner support and engagement, accessibility support, equity and Te Pae Tawhiti – Te Tiriti Excellence. 

The Operating Model aims to provide holistic support systems for learners and their whānau, including new services to help each learner fit their learning with different learning styles. A focus on relationships between learners and our people, employers and industry, and innovative and accessible learning environments will help all learners succeed.

Employers will also be considered part of Te Pūkenga training network and will have access to training and cultural support to help them pass on their skills in an inclusive work environment. Over time, Te Pūkenga will develop flexible learning options that fit the rhythms of different workplaces to make work-based learning fit around business needs.

Everything Te Pūkenga does will be in partnership with Te Tiriti partners. The organisation will uphold mātauranga Māori, values and principles, and recognise the importance of tailored approaches to teaching and learning. This also means Māori communities will be involved in the development and delivery of courses, support services, hui whakanui to celebrate ākonga success and everyday interactions between ākonga Māori and Te Pūkenga.

Engagement begins this week and runs until 8 November. People are encouraged to provide feedback via our online engagement platform at More detail can also be found at