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Competenz Chairman retires

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Competenz Trust Board long-serving Chairman Mike Simm announced his retirement from the role at its recent Annual General Meeting.

Competenz CEO Fiona Kingsford said Mike’s contribution over the last eight years has been invaluable for the Industry Training Organisation (ITO).

"Mike’s passion for youth development, vocational education and our industries has led Competenz to become a highly respected and trusted advisor with our industries and Government.

"On a personal note, I have truly valued Mike’s support and mentorship over the past four years and will miss his wisdom and insight."

Mike has worked across a range of industries including manufacturing, engineering and the construction sector before shifting to tourism and regional economic development, serving as a director, trustee and advisor in companies, trusts and local and central government entities. His career has also focused on youth development and transitions from school to work, particularly through his work as a trustee of various community trusts in Northland.

"It has been a great privilege to have been part of the Competenz journey, overseeing the genuine contribution that we make to the New Zealand economy through vocational training and to be closely associated with the people that bring that to life.

"Some of my most treasured moments have been visiting workplaces and discussing their challenges and opportunities with employers and learners. This is where ‘the rubber hits the road’ for us and where I have been able to experience first-hand the opportunities we have to make a real contribution to upskilling the New Zealand workforce and all the collateral benefits that accrue from that," he said.

Mike says there is a real need to continue to work constructively with the Government in the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) process to ensure that the final product remains relevant and engaging for employers and learners.

Fiona said the Board is grateful for his contribution over a period that saw significant change in vocational training in New Zealand and the growth of Competenz as a leading player in the ITO sector.

George Adams will replace Mike as Board Chair. George joined the Competenz Board in April 2018. He has 30 years of experience leading companies in New Zealand, Africa and Europe, which has given him an in-depth appreciation of the benefits of industry training to learners, companies and the country. He is a strong advocate for the FMCG, forestry, and health and safety sectors.

A former Chair of the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council, George currently holds chairman and directorship roles on the boards of the Worker Related Health Advisory Board, the Business Leaders Health and Safety Forum, Mix Cosmetics, Apollo Foods, Tegel Group Holdings Limited, Insightful Mobility, Arborgen, Cavalier Corporation and Netlogix Limited. He also chaired the 2014 Independent Forestry Safety Inquiry.

Fiona said she and the Competenz Trust board look forward to working with George in his new role.

The vacancy left by George’s transition to Board Chair will be left open, and a one-year extension to the terms of existing board members Bryn Thompson and Judy Newcombe was also announced. These decisions were taken in consultation with the Appointments Committee and reflect an expectation that the Competenz Trust is likely to be wound up in the foreseeable future as part of the Government’s ROVE plans.

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