Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs)

Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs)

Last updated 21 October 2019
Last updated 21 October 2019

Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) will play a significant role in driving innovation and excellence in vocational education, by strengthening links with industry and communities.

The first two CoVEs will be a Construction CoVE and a Primary Sector CoVE. Funding is available through an upcoming application and selection process.

What is a CoVE?

A CoVE is a consortium of experts from across a sector who join together to grow excellent vocational education provision and share high-quality curriculum and programme design across the vocational education system. This will include the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (the Institute), other providers, the new Workforce Development Councils, industry experts and researchers.

Each CoVE will be hosted by a regional campus of the Institute or by a wānanga.

The specific scope and other functions of each CoVE will be determined through a consultation and co-design process which will then inform the selection process. Each CoVE is intended to have a limited lifespan, responding to a specific challenge or opportunity.

Industry needs will inform the function and form of each CoVE 

We will be meeting with stakeholders to understand what areas each CoVE should cover and what function each could perform. We want to hear how CoVEs can be used to drive innovation and excellence in vocational education and improve links to industry and communities. There may be specific issues or opportunities that a CoVE could address.

Ideally the Construction and Primary Sector CoVEs should respond to issues or opportunities that have wide application rather than a limited occupational scope; however, this will be determined through the consultation process.

How you can help shape the CoVEs to meet your sector needs

We’d like to hear from interested parties that have an idea for a CoVE, or have identified an issue or opportunity a CoVE might address. This might be in relation to the first two CoVEs (Primary Sector and Construction), or you might be thinking further ahead to subsequent CoVEs.

We also want to hear your thoughts, in relation to the Primary Sector and Construction CoVEs, on:

  • the functions each CoVE should undertake
  • the scope of coverage for each CoVE
  • who should be involved
  • how long the CoVE should run for
  • location
  • what makes a successful CoVE (and how to measure this)

Please contact us with your feedback on these matters at CoVEs@tec.govt.nz. Please indicate which CoVE your suggestions relate to: Primary Sector, Construction or a potential future CoVE. Please include your name, your organisation and contact details in case we need to get hold of you to seek clarification or further comment.

How to be part of a CoVE

We also want to work with groups that are considering forming a consortium to apply to establish the Primary Sector or Construction CoVE. We will be holding co-design workshops with Primary Sector and Construction stakeholders. If you would like to be involved in a co-design workshop and haven’t heard from us, please let us know by emailing CoVEs@tec.govt.nz.

We will progressively publish findings from our consultation and co-design workshops on this website and explain how these will be used to shape our selection processes.

TEC’s role is to facilitate co-design discussions for the CoVEs, and enable the forming up of consortium groups that will apply for CoVE funding. We will run a two-stage process (expressions of interest and a request for proposals) to select which consortium groups we will fund. Once selected, the consortium will establish the CoVE and operate it, reporting to TEC periodically on milestones set out in the funding agreement.

Indicative timeline

We will update this timeline with more detailed information as we move through the design phase.

Activity Indicative date
Consultation and co-design of Primary Sector and Construction CoVEs October and November
Expression of interest process opens December
Expressions of interest due February
Selected applicants invited to submit detailed proposals February
Detailed proposals due March
Enter into funding contract with successful consortium May
Consortia start establishing Primary Sector and Construction CoVEs May

Centres of Vocational Excellence - Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ section will be added to as new questions are received. Please email your questions to CoVEs@tec.govt.nz.   

What is a CoVE?

A Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) is a group from across a sector that works together to:

  • grow excellent vocational provision, and
  • share high-quality curriculum and programme design across the vocational education system.

Each CoVE will include the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (the Institute), other providers, the new Workforce Development Councils (WDCs), industry experts and researchers.

Each CoVE will be hosted by a regional campus of the Institute, or by a wānanga. Each CoVE will be intended to have a finite lifespan based on a specific challenge or opportunity.

How many CoVEs will there be? What will they cover?

Cabinet has approved funding for two initial pilot CoVEs. These will be a Primary Sector CoVE and a Construction CoVE. A Health CoVE is also being considered.

There will eventually be a network of CoVEs across New Zealand. The total number of CoVEs is yet to be determined and could be subject to change over time.

The scope of coverage of future CoVEs could be defined by industry, occupation, or by type of delivery, for example: kaupapa Māori, online learning, or foundation education.

The specific scope of coverage for, and functions of, each CoVE will be tailored to ensure that the CoVE is a genuine centre of excellence. The parameters will be developed by TEC in consultation with significant stakeholder groups. The specific details of each CoVE should be generated by applicants, rather than tightly specified by government.

What are the functions of the Primary Sector CoVE and the Construction CoVE?

The scope and other functions of the Primary Sector and Construction CoVEs have not been set by the government. We will develop the parameters for each CoVE through consultation and co-design with significant stakeholders, and based on feedback from interested parties. The specific details of what each CoVE will do, its outcomes, the function it will perform, where it will be hosted, and who else will be involved, will be generated by applicants as part of the expression of interest process.

How will you select who will run each CoVE?

TEC will run a selection process to select the consortium groups that will run each CoVE. The selection process will consist of an expression of interest round, followed by a request for proposal round.

The indicative timeframes for these processes in relation to the Primary Sector CoVE and Construction CoVE are set out on our website.

Each CoVE will be a consortium made up of interested parties relevant to the subject area of the CoVE. We expect the Consortium to have a leader, which may be one of the parties, or may be a governing body established for the purpose of the CoVE.

Who will CoVEs report to?

The management and governance arrangements for each CoVE will be a matter for consortium groups to determine as part of the design and application process.

CoVEs will be required to report to TEC periodically about the KPIs and milestones set out in their funding agreement with TEC.

What funding is available for CoVEs?

There is $5m of funding available per year, for up to five years, for the first two pilot CoVEs. It is expected that CoVE consortium members will also contribute or source additional financial support to the CoVE.

Funding will be appropriated for subsequent CoVEs in due course.

How can I give feedback on what the CoVEs should do?

You can email your feedback to CoVEs@tec.govt.nz.  

We will run face to face workshops, depending on interest in this. If you wish to take part in a workshop, please let us know by emailing CoVEs@tec.govt.nz.

We’ll also be meeting with groups as part of the wider RoVE consultation.

How can I apply to set up a CoVE?

We will commence a formal selection process for the Primary Sector and Construction CoVEs in late 2019.

Information about the application process will be published on our website in November.

What are the selection criteria?

The detailed formal selection criteria are yet to be developed, however, they are likely to include an assessment of how well a consortium’s application:

  • provides a level of additionality beyond what is already expected from the system
  • demonstrates how the growth, development, and sharing of best practice provision will be achieved, and includes input from relevant industry experts and leaders
  • identifies challenges to, or opportunities for, the industry within the area of vocational education
  • demonstrates how these challenges or opportunities are of strategic importance to New Zealand
  • shows how the applicant will use collaborative partnership-based approaches to solve the challenges or leverage the opportunities
  • details solutions that are practical and time-bound with clear measures of success
  • shows evidence of sourcing additional financial support from consortium members (from industry and/or providers), and
  • demonstrates the ability of the consortium to undertake the required functions of the CoVE.