A New Approach to Learner Pathways: Skills Framework

Originator/Sponsor: Muka Tangata

Portfolio Manager: Jackie Lynch

Status: Closed

Delivered: March 2024

Lead Agency / Service Provider: Dr. Nicky Murray (On Task Ltd), Kathryn Koopmanshcap (Boost Business Services) with support from HTK Group

Primary Objective:

With the aim of testing the ideas and concepts proposed under A New Approach to Learner Pathways, the food and fibre skills framework research project looks at developing a radically simplified qualification structure, that will enable greater flexibility for ākonga and enhance transferability of skills across the sector.

Enabling Objectives:

The enabling objectives were to understand;

  1. What are the design and delivery elements of a qualification that facilitates skill flexibility and transferability for ākonga in the food and fibre sector?
  2. What action should Muka Tangata take to achieve this outcome

The researchers were guided by the following three overarching development principles that underpin, inform, and support this project:

  1. The incorporation of mātauranga Māori into learning
  2. The creation of a future food and fibre skills framework
  3. The design of learning elements in parallel with the above


This project will build on the Training and Career Framework with a deep dive into the optimum level of flexibility and transferability of skills across the industries within the food and fibre sector.

A skills-first approach means that businesses get employees with the right skills and competencies for a particular role, rather than getting someone with a particular qualification or job title.

The benefits of this approach include unlocking hidden talent pools, increasing productivity, supporting talent mobility and redeployment, and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

The Skills Framework is a visual representation of the skills required for the food and fibre sector, infused with Te Ao Māori, explicitly using and prioritising Māori understanding of areas such as sustainability and wellbeing, and can be enhanced over time as future skill needs are realised.

Project Completion:

The Skills Framework will contribute towards creating education products that maximise flexibility and transferability, while remaining meaningful to industry and allowing opportunities for specialisms.

The framework helps to provoke conversation, allows employers to recognise skills and identify areas or qualifications that need further development.

The key parts of the framework cover the following areas:

  • Core transferable skills – where current skills can be built on in other areas of work
  • Core technical skills – generic skills common to most industries in the food and fibre sector
  • Specialised technical skills – unique skills or knowledge for a certain industry
  • Bodies of knowledge – develop superior knowledge in a particular area

The project has developed a range of recommendations that will be investigated more thoroughly over the coming months.

Project Outputs:

Recommendations Paper, Skills Framework Presentation, Te Ao Māori Skills Framework, Research Report.

The above information was current as at 17 April 2024