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Encouraging young into future skills workforce


author:Bay of Plenty Times

A new training consortium to encourage young Maori and Pasifika in the Bay of Plenty to become qualified in trades was announced by Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce earlier this week.

The consortium is made up of Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Nga Potiki a Tamapahore, local industry partners, and a joint initiative between Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment and the Tertiary Education Commission.

It brings together education expertise, student support and employment prospects leading into a range of opportunities for Maori and Pasifika, in the 18-34 year age group, who are interested in a career in infrastructure and associated trades.

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic education and Maori development director Kieran Hewitson said it was an exciting initiative for the community as well as the country.

"Our economic success depends on increasing the skill levels and opportunities of Maori and Pasifika, who will make up a large part of our national workforce in the future," Hewitson said.

"The demand for skilled tradespeople is expected to be high over the next several years with demand for skilled workers in construction and engineering currently up by more than 16 per cent nationwide compared to last year according to MBIE stats," she said.

Maori and Pacific Island young people are able to apply for a scholarship through the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic which covers the fees component of the programme of study and support to find work placements.

The first full-time training programme scholarship will be offered for the Certificate in Carpentry programme starting in May. The year-long course is designed to help students develop their skills to enable them to sign up for an apprenticeship.

The Trustees of Nga Potiki Trust said there were thrilled that this training opportunity has come to fruition.

"This is a great opportunity for our rangatahi Maori and Pasifika. We hope to leverage off the construction boom occurring in the Bay, and Tauranga specifically, and to provide training and work opportunities going forward. The goal is to upskill and find employment for trainees between 18-34 years old. It's great that Government; our public training facilities like Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and iwi groups can work together to realise the aspirations of our rangatahi".

Future scholarships will be available in automotive technology and electrical engineering.

April 9th 2015

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