September 12, 2017
He Toki delivers on investment and upskilling young Maori
The chair of a highly successful Ngai Tahu training project says a concerted effort is needed to get young Maori into the workforce.
He Toki ki te Mahi is the star case study in a new evaluation of Whanau Ora projects, with Lincoln University researchers estimating it delivers a seven to one return on investment.
Eruera Tarena says the trust was created in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes, with the vision of reviving the old Maori affairs trade training model as a way to quickly give Maori the skills they needed for the rebuild.
He Toki ki te Mahi recruits apprentices, runs pre-training, places them and offers ongoing support for both the apprentices and their mainly Pakeha employers.
It addresses the problem nationally that less than a third of Maori apprentices complete their term.
"It's not just enough to get into the industry. We need to support our whanau to realise their potential, to move up to have a promising career where they are certified, qualified, and ideally we want to get to a space where, and we are starting to see that now where our first graduates are coming out now with their industry certification and they are now moving to be the employers as opposed to the employees," Dr Tarena says.
In the next decade or so as many as 70,000 Pakeha trades people in the Canterbury region are set to retire, at the same time a large number of young Maori are entering the workforce.
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