June 29, 2020
Racist structures deny skills training for Māori
The Māori Futures Collective says giving rangatahi the skills to be flexible is a way to give Māori immunity from future economic busts.
The Ngāi Tahu-backed collective in partnership with economic research consultancy BERL have released a report Ka Whati Te Tai: a generation disrupted about the economic impacts of COVID-19 on Māori.
Director Dr Eruera Tarena says about half the Māori workforce are in industries vulnerable to economic shocks, and Māori are almost absent in sectors with higher incomes and job security.
Skills such as collaboration, problem solving and teamwork are key to getting high-paying jobs in the future economy, but Māori have been steered by successive governments into blue-collar careers.
"When you're in those lower-paid, undervalued jobs you have less opportunities for upskilling, for gaining promotion, for earning more pūtea, so a lot of these ideas and behaviours and structures and pathways that are available for our people are based on some of those historically racist ideas that Māori are good with our hands," Dr Tarena says.
That's a pattern that needs to be broken.
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