News | New Maths: Three into one does go

20/12/2012

The merger of three industry training organisations has been given the green light.

Steven Joyce, the Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, has formally approved the merger of three industry training organisations (ITOs) into one new ITO, as from 1 January 2013.

The Aviation Tourism Travel Training Organisation (ATTTO), Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI) and the Retail Institute are joining forces to become Service IQ, the ITO for the aviation, hospitality, museum, tourism, travel, retail and wholesale industries. The collective industries provide a wide range of services to both international and domestic visitors, and enhance visitors’ experience.

Announcing his approval, Minister Joyce said he was “pleased to see a collaborative approach being taken to better meet the needs of employers, education providers and trainees.”

Ken Harris, Chief Executive (Transitional) of Service IQ, thanking the Minister for his formal support of the merger, said: “This integration heralds a new era for the service industry. Our large and growing sector will now have a stronger voice and greater influence with Government, befitting the considerable contribution it makes to the country’s economy.”

The sectors Service IQ represents contributed approximately $27.4 million to the New Zealand economy in 2011. This is a sizeable contribution of approximately 14 per cent towards national GDP. In addition, the service sector supports one of New Zealand’s largest export industries – tourism  - which earned approximately $9.7 billion in the year to March 2011.

Service industry businesses conduct thousands of transactions with New Zealanders every day providing food and service, from fine dining to retirement villages, and from high street sales to supermarket distribution chains.

Harris said: “We believe industry training is essential to improving productivity and profitability in New Zealand’s service industry.

“The workplace is a great real-life classroom in which to grow talent, refine transferable skills and provide an environment where individuals can achieve their full potential.

“The merger of ATTTO, HSI and the Retail Institute will contribute to increasing the productivity of the many people who work in New Zealand’s service industry”.

The new organisation will cover the majority of service industries, providing core skills that are transferable across the service sector for all employees and businesses. This promises better outcomes for trainees, such as the ability to transfer their skills, and to receive the better quality training and assessment that a larger-scale organisation will bring.

Service IQ will become the one central point of contact for service businesses and employees, reducing duplication, administrative and compliance costs for employers.

There are almost 70,000 businesses in the sectors represented by Service IQ, many of them small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs), as well as large national organisations. In 2011, approximately 19 per cent of the New Zealand workforce -362,780 people - were employed fulltime in the service sector. 

The new organisation will continue to work with industry to design and develop qualifications and on-job training programmes that meet industry workforce needs, from apprenticeships and entry level through to management.

Harris said: “Service IQ will work to ensure development and delivery of industry relevant training that has a tangible and positive effect on the businesses that choose invest in their workforce.

“By helping produce a workforce with nationally recognised qualifications who contribute to greater productivity and profitability for the service industry, we will help increase our sectors’ contribution to the national economy.

“We will also take every opportunity to raise the public awareness of the exciting careers and career pathways our industry provides.”

Ken Harris will hand over leadership of the new organisation to returning New Zealander Dean Minchington in February.