About Us


Workforce Development Ltd helps people develop skills they need for work or future study.  Whether they want to enter the workforce, learn new skills, get back into work or find a new career to be passionate about,  Workforce Development helps them get there.

We’ve been providing opportunities to learn and grow for individuals, communities, businesses and government departments for more than 30 years. We offer a friendly, personalised and supportive service to guide you on your journey into the Kiwi workforce and beyond.




We’re a private training company owned by a trust. We’re a friendly, approachable team dedicated to helping Kiwis develop into successful members of the New Zealand workforce. We began as a small company in Napier in 1992 and have grown into a well-regarded training organisation with campuses in Napier and Auckland.



We work with and support a wide range of New Zealanders from young people in school, school leavers, professionals, business owners and government departments. We offer a truly personalised service to foster individual growth and success.

Vision and Mission

Vision: A world-class private provider of vocational education, and New Zealand’s first Industry and Community College.

Mission: Applied learning that is flexible, practical, co-developed and relevant to our ‘Communities of Learners’ and stakeholders. Their voice, our expertise. 


Cynthia Bishop

Head of Department - Foundation

Cynthia has been working in education for 21 years – the past nine at Workforce Development Ltd. She started as Youth Guarantee Tutor, moved on to Hospitality & Cookery, then Short Courses and Sales before becoming Head of Department for Foundation Programmes. Cynthia believes strongly in what Workforce Development does and takes great pleasure in making a difference in people’s lives.

“I feel proud and privileged to be part of the Workforce Development Ltd Team.”

Bobbie-Allen Aramoana-Styles


No Tainui me Ngati Awa ahau, e noho ana ki Mangere.

Ko Bobbie-Allen Aramoana-Styles toku ingoa.

Bringing her wealth of administration skills and experience to the education Industry, with a growing passion to tautoko tauira in their educational journey, Bobbie is mum to 4 tamariki. A South Auckland local, she really enjoys the environment and collaborative approach at Workforce Development of working with tauira to achieve their career goals.

Dr. Aaron Smith

Managing Director

With a diverse background including six years in hospitality, a stint in IT, teaching in NZ and overseas, presenting programmes for the Centre of Continuing Education and the Auckland Domain Museum for many years, a Masters in Archaeology and a PhD in Egyptology, Aaron has a passion for working with communities in Aotearoa and abroad. His dream is to develop and implement fit-for-purpose education programmes which empower learners, grow that which is already within them, and weave this altogether to enable them to achieve their goals and passions. Involved in educational leadership ventures for many years, Aaron was responsible for opening the first school-based Trade Academy under the Youth Guarantee initiative, and has worked on Tertiary Education Needs Strategies. He is also a strong proponent of MIT’s Centre for Multiple Pathways. An alma-mater of the University of Auckland, Aaron also lectured at the university for several years. Aaron served as CEO of Workforce Development from 2012 – 2017 and has been a co-owner of the company since 2017.

Arapera Riki

Kuia Wairua. Cultural Advisor

Ngati Kahungunu ki Ahuriri Kia ora! 

I am honoured to support and guide the Workforce Development Team in cultural awareness. 
It is most gratifying to be within a diverse and skilled team who assist all individuals and cultures connect and learn together with respect and understanding. 

Stewart Whyte

National Sales & Short Course Manager

Stewart re-joins Workforce Development after previously having worked as the Auckland Regional Manager from 2010-2015. Having worked in the Private Training sector for over 15 years Stewart’s experience with stakeholder management, student services and pastoral care enables him to provide the very best service to the communities he serves.

His qualifications include a Masters in Professional Practice and a Degree in Applied Management and he further serves the community having governance roles for sports organisations.

Stewart’s passion is to support people from diverse backgrounds to gain qualifications and positively pathway into a career of their choice.

Normalee Sekai

Head of Department: Hauora/Health & Wellbeing

Norma is an inspirational leader with considerable experience in the Youth Work and Hauora fields. She has a passion for guiding rangatahi and adult learners to become independent thinkers and achieve their dreams. Norma commenced at Workforce Development as a student, obtaining her Diploma in Youth Work before returning as a tutor in 2014. She also holds qualifications in business administration, adult education and hospitality. “I believe in putting relationships before business, as this gives trust and credibility, relationships are a big enabler in my profession.”

Miriam Jardine

Quality Teaching and Learning Manager

Miriam has 40 years education experience and held academic management positions in tertiary private training establishments for 18 years managing staff and quality assurance systems. Prior to that she was an MOE Facilitator implementing MOE curriculum in primary and secondary schools, an Intermediate Senior Teacher often with trainee teachers who were on practicums, and a Primary Teacher.

Adam Punter

Finance Manager

Adam started as Finance Manager at Workforce Development in July 2018 and although he is new to the education sector he brings a wealth of knowledge with over 18 years of experience in the finance sector.

Adam is enjoying being part of the WFD team.

Megan Hobden

HR Manager

Megan is an experienced HR Manager who has worked in a variety of organisations. She understands that it’s the people in a business that help it succeed and that those people must be supported by good HR practices.