ATNZ appoints new CEO to drive future vision

Rebecca 2

04 August 2021

Apprentice Training New Zealand is thrilled to advise Rebecca Smith has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief Executive Officer to lead the Group Training Organisation (GTO) into its new exciting phase.

ATNZ Board Chairman John Blakey said Ms Smith has a wealth of experience and expertise, vital to leading the GTO which from Monday 02 August became a standalone entity, separate from Industry Training Organisation Competenz, with which it has partnered closely since 2010.

“Rebecca brings strong strategic leadership combined with an impressive career in marketing and business. Most recently the Executive Director of the New Zealand Story Group, Rebecca is focused on driving growth, acquisition, and retention. She has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and brand leadership across various industries, including senior marketing leadership roles with Fonterra, BNZ and Telecom. We are delighted to have a leader of her calibre on board”.  

ATNZ is the country’s largest employer of apprentices in mechanical engineering and related industries. As a GTO, ATNZ places their 360-plus apprentices into “host” companies where they work and learn their trade.

As well as the separation from Competenz, part of the Government’s ongoing Reform of Vocational Education, Mr Blakey said ATNZ has an exciting vision for the future. The GTO will expand to also become a vibrant and commercially independent Private Training Establishment within the next two years.
Ms Smith joins ATNZ to drive this vision to fruition and lead the team of 22 staff from Monday 09 August 2021.

Mr Blakey said the ATNZ board acknowledge and deeply thank ATNZ General Manager Susanne Martin for the commitment and energy she has brought to the role over the last three years.

“We want to express our gratitude to Susanne for all her mahi. We value how Susanne has always led from the front with passion and grit: this was especially evident through the huge challenges of the global pandemic: on our people, host and apprentices, and the organisation as a whole. This has put ATNZ in great heart, ready for what will be a significant transformation over the next few years, and we are very appreciative.”