First Workforce Development Council Chief Executive appointed

Media release: 2 September 2021

Philip Aldridge CE Waihanga Ara Rau

Waihanga Ara Rau Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council today announced the appointment of Philip Aldridge as Chief Executive. The appointment is a significant milestone in the establishment of Workforce Development Councils, which will give industry greater leadership in the vocational education system. Waihanga Ara Rau is the first of the six Workforce Development Councils to appoint its Chief Executive.

Co-chairs of the Council, Elena Trout and John Chapman welcomed the appointment. Elena Trout said, "We are excited that Philip will be leading and building Waihanga Ara Rau. We were impressed by Philip's industry connections and knowledge of the vocational education system, along with his focus on equity and inclusion in his previous roles.”

Philip joins Waihanga Ara Rau from the Health and Safety Association of NZ, where he is currently Executive Director.

He said, "It will be a privilege to lead Waihanga Ara Rau, which represents one of our economy’s most important industries. It will take a team effort to deliver the changes our industry needs. As a priority, we must help to address workforce shortages and do more to support Māori, Pacific people and women to succeed in construction and infrastructure.”

Waihanga Ara Rau covers construction (including heavy, civil, residential, non-residential and related engineering) and associated industries and trades, as well as infrastructure, including water supply and drainage, gas supply, electricity generation and distribution, telecommunication, road and bridge building, and related engineering.

Philip will take up the CE role in mid-October.


Further information:

Donna Freebairn, Communications Lead, Workforce Development Council Establishment Unit, 02041664411.


Workforce Development Councils are being established through the Reform of Vocational Education and will come into effect on 4 October 2021. They will set standards, develop qualifications and shape the curriculum of vocational education to ensure it meets their industries’ needs.

See the TEC website for further information on Workforce Development Councils, Waihanga Ara Rau and its Council.

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