Gill Genet

More than 75 people have been involved with seven working groups looking at the skills and capabilities the Institute will need in order to create the new world of learning. This work will provide an essential resource for the incoming Council of the new national Institute.

In the coming weeks we’ll meet a cross-section of those involved, hearing about their reflections on the journey to date.

(Please note that these views represent the individual, and not the working group they participated in, the IST Establishment Unit, their organisation or the wider vocational education and training sector.)

Gill Genet, General Manager Business Development, Careerforce

Working group: Education Products & Services

1. What is your role and how do you participate in the vocational education and training sector?

As the General Manager Business Development for Careerforce, I listen to understand the different needs of the many and varied stakeholders working in the health, disability, hygiene, social and community sectors, and ask how can we help. Workforce development is high on the agenda for many of our stakeholders so frequently the question leads to developing solutions that include training opportunities. Business development is also about finding more efficient and effective ways of supporting employers to qualify and upskill their staff. 

2. What’s a little-known fact / something you wish people knew about your organisation?

We have some programmes of industry training where we know less than five people will enrol annually, like the new-born hearing screeners in the hospitals. We are as committed to supporting them as we are to 3500 health care assistant trainees working in aged residential care and the support workers working in homes throughout Aotearoa.

3. Tell us about someone who positively influenced own vocational learner journey and what was it that most impacted you?

In 2019 I completed He Papa Tikanga L3 with TWOA. It made me realise how hard it is to make time to study when working full time, no wonder it comes up as the most frequent barrier in feedback we get from our trainees and employers. My assessor was great, definitely the reason I completed. 

4. What made you want to participate in a ‘Mobilising the New World’ working group?

I like whole system design thinking approaches and could see how an overhaul of the system could remove aspects of ITO and ITP training that haven’t worked well for apprentices, trainees and students. I was keen to ensure learnings from the past informed the future and am super keen to share understanding about the role employers and the many other stakeholders undertake – without them we wouldn’t have the very many successes we do, in workplace-based training.  

5. What have you valued the most from being part of the Education Products & Services group?

Great people, prepared to listen, speak out and explore new thinking. I hadn’t realised how little I knew about the ITP world, it’s been enlightening.

6. How have your skills and experience complemented others in the group?

That’s probably a question others in the group should answer, but I’ll give it a go.

I, like my two other ITO colleagues, have shared our knowledge about the education products and services world of industry training and in doing so have realised we also operate differently as the needs and wants of our industry stakeholders are different. It’s definitely not a one size fits all approach.

Working in community, health and social services I’ve highlighted the importance of attributes along with skills and knowledge. Our tools of the trade are frequently values based and include skills in critical thinking, reflective practice and communication, whanaungatanga and growing cultural confidence. Sharing the importance of lived experience and learning from the people the workforce support complemented other discussions about skills and knowledge requirements.

7. What has excited or encouraged you about the process?

Bringing the many different voices together and then having a clear deliverable we needed to make happen.

8. What has been challenging about the process?

Fog at the airport preventing us from being in the same room – happened twice. Initially we didn’t appreciate the time it would take to understand all our different worlds, that’s still work in progress.

We also had product and services questions/opportunities where ideally we would have had a Workforce Development Council and NZQA in the room, so we could establish a shared perspective.

9. What has been the most interesting or surprising part of the process?

The surprising part of the process was how quickly we landed the key areas to develop. It then became very interesting working through what that would look like for learners, employers (and other stakeholders), with the process continuing to expose how different the ITO and ITP worlds are. It was great to step beyond our current states and imagine what a truly learner and industry responsive system could look like, where collaboration takes over from competition.

10. What are you most proud of that your group has produced so far for the incoming Council to consider?

We quickly realised our work was closely connected to the work of other groups especially IT, learner journeys, work-based training. My message to the incoming Council is - given the energy invested to date, it would be great to have the opportunity to do more joined up development work so we have end to end design thinking, as each working group either impacts on or is impacted by another working group.

It was a great opportunity to be involved in, thank you.

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