Education Minister Chris Hipkins has unveiled a government proposal to bring all of New Zealand's polytechnics and technology institutes under one, unified banner.
Mr Hipkins said in a statement today that the new entity has a working title of the New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology, and would incorporate all of the country's 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs).
"It's time to reset the whole system and fundamentally rethink the way we view vocational education and training, and how it's delivered," Mr Hipkins said.
"The Coalition Government proposes to establish a unified, coordinated, national system of vocational education and training.
"At a time when we're facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke.
"The strong labour market is encouraging young people to move directly into the workforce rather than continue in formal education, when it needs to be smarter and accommodate both.
"And our system isn't geared up for the future economy, where re-training and up-skilling will be a regular feature of everyone's working life.
"Instead of our institutes of technology retrenching, cutting programmes, and closing campuses, we need them to expand their course delivery in more locations around the country.
"Our proposals aim to ensure that the system is easier to navigate and provides the skills that employers and employees need.
"What we are proposing is ambitious, but it needs to be ... we cannot continue to tweak the system knowing that the model is fundamentally broken, and isn't delivering our workforce the skills that they need to thrive."
Public consultation on the proposal is open until 27 March.