A Whangarei company says a new trades training programme in Northland will give a welcome boost to the number of Maori trades-people.
McKay Electrical has just taken on an apprentice who's one of fifty students signed up with Te Matarau Trust - a partnership between six iwi and Northtec polytechnic .
The Trust will provide pastoral care and support to make sure the students qualify through the polytech.
McKay's chief executive Lindsay Faithfull said similar programmes in the 1950s and 1960s produced some top tradespeople, but these days he doesn't see enough Maori training to gain the necessary experience and qualifications.
The Northland programme is part of a $43 million Government initiative to have 3000 students in trades training by next year.