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Auckland trades trainees get more than just free fees

Hundreds of Māori and Pasifika are being offered long-term help to climb the career ladder in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland’s booming trades industry.

Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) Auckland has more than 650 scholarships available for 2019 as part of its work to build a qualified trades workforce.

Eligible candidates not only get free fees, they also get one-on-one support from a mentor to find the right job and succeed in their career.

There is an urgent need for qualified tradespeople in New Zealand, with a shortage of 30,000 skilled employees in the building and construction industry – a figure that’s expected to increase.

While fees are one obstacle to learning a trade, there are other barriers that prevent Māori and Pasifika Aucklanders from getting qualified in the booming industry.

Samuelu Sefuiva, MPTT Auckland Mana Whakapai (Project Manager), says these barriers include confusion over which training options to choose, the misconception that trades are a less lucrative career option, and not knowing how to find an apprenticeship.

“It’s not only a matter of choosing the right course. There are also earn-while-you-learn options and apprenticeship providers to learn about, as well as figuring out which skills and personal qualities employers are looking for. It can be tricky for our young people to navigate.”

As part of the MPTT Auckland community, young Māori and Pasifika get practical help from a Navigator (mentor) to ensure they’re ready for work, from getting their driver licence to ensuring they have necessary safety training.

MPTT Auckland Navigators help keep trainees on track and offer support with any personal issues hindering their progress.

By partnering with organisations and employers throughout the trades industry, MPTT Auckland also helps trainees gain work experience, find that all-important first job and get an apprenticeship.

“Auckland needs skilled, qualified trades workers to meet demand. But we find many trainees don’t know the difference between a labouring job, which just pays the bills, and an apprenticeship, which is essential for getting qualified and enjoying life-long prosperity – for them and their whānau,” says Sam.

MPTT Auckland’s focus is on laying the foundation for a trainee’s growing career, by helping them get an apprenticeship and, ultimately, a qualification.

“We guide our trainees through the learning to work process,” says Sam. “It’s important they don’t just do a pre-trades course and become labourers. We want them to have long-term job security, be skilled in using the latest technology, take on leadership positions and move forward in their careers.

“In the short term, trainees often earn a bit more as a labourer than as an apprentice, which can be tempting. So our young people need ongoing guidance to ensure they know that, in the longer term, an apprenticeship is the path to a valuable qualification, better pay and great opportunities.”

To be eligible for an MPTT Auckland scholarship, applicants need to be aged 16 to 40 and of Māori or Pasifika heritage.

“If you like working with your hands, being outdoors and being part of a team, please get in touch with us today. Or if you know someone who would make a great tradesperson, tell them about the MPTT offer,” says Sam.

Potential scholars can register their interest by emailing Shelley Riley, MPTT Project Coordinator, at shelley.riley@maoripasifikatrades.co.nz

More than 2300 scholarship young men and women have already benefited from the scholarships since they were first offered in 2014, with many now in employment and some even running their own businesses.
Find out more at www.maoripasifikatrades.co.nz

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