9 May 2013

Govt to expand Maori and Pasifika trades training

9:38 pm on 9 May 2013

The Government is putting aside millions of dollars in next week's Budget to create more than 2000 additional places in Maori and Pasifika trades training schemes.

Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Tariana Turia, made the announcement on Thursday at Whitireia Polytechnic in Porirua, north of Wellington.

Mrs Turia made the announcement in front of an audience that included members of the local iwi, Ngati Toa Rangitira, and the Pasifika community.

She says there are currently 600 places in Maori and Pasifika trade training schemes set up by the Government in 2011.

Mrs Turia says that number will be increased to 3000.

Over the next four years $43 million is being set over the for the plan.

The money will be diverted from other funds designed to increase training and employment with $35 million to come from the Industry Training Fund, and $8 million from Vote Employment.

Mrs Turia says the plan is designed to address the urgent need to enhance the skills of young Maori and Pasific people, to increase their chances of employment.

She says employers will play a pivotal role by pre-screening applicants for training schemes, and selecting courses that meet trainees' needs.

Mrs Turia says trainees will also be offered places at tertiary institutions, where they won't have to pay fees, so they can obtain qualifications that will help them into apprenticeships.