As part of the Budget 2013, the Māori and Pasifika training schemes that were established by the current Government in 2011 will be more than tripled from 600 places to 3,000. The announcement was made by Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce and Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Tariana Turia shortly before the budget was presented to parliament.
The Government has committed $43 million over four years to the He Toki ki te Rika and Pasifika Trades schemes.
“The initiative responds to the urgent need to enhance skills for young Māori and Pasifika in order to best improve their participation in the labour market, and in doing so to strengthen employment outcomes for Māori and Pasifika communities,” Turia said.
He Toki ki te Rika, a Māori Trade Training Centre, supports Māori in gaining a pre-trade qualification at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology before moving into an apprenticeship. The Pasifika Trades Training Initiative, on the other hand, provides participants with fee-free places in full year programmes at level 3 or higher on the NZQF.
With unemployment among Māori at 15%, and 40% among Māori youth, these schemes are ‘greatly needed’, according to Donna Kerrison, general manager of Māori Pacific Jobs. “For the Christchurch rebuild, schemes such as this will significantly address the skills shortages there, whilst raising Māori and Pasifika participation in the trades,” she said.
Kerrison hoped that the two schemes would foster skills in Māori and Pasifika that employers are currently seeking, and noted that the consultation in and around Ōtautahi / Christchurch had been extensive.
“With Te Rūnunga o Ngāi Tahu having equal status with CERA and Christchurch City Council for the rebuild, I believe they are all listening, and with projects such as He Toki ki te Rika underway, this will ultimately meet market demands,” Kerrison said.