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Prime Minister to Attend Launch of Te Toka Trade Training

Media release: Thursday 28 August 2014

Te Toka Trades Training Programme To Build Region’s Workforce

Building a solid foundation for the future of the Tairawhiti is the driving force behind a cross-sector initiative to be launched tomorrow in Gisborne.

Te Toka Maori and Pasifika Trades Training Programme is the result of a collaboration between Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, EIT Tairawhiti and Lincoln University. The three groups formed a consortium and were recently selected by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education Commission to support more Maori and Pasifika students, aged 18-34, to obtain trades apprenticeships and qualifications.

The Te Toka consortium will work alongside local businesses and organisations to achieve their common goals of skilled and sustainable employment for the region. The programme will focus on developing the workforce of industries identified as economically significant to the Tairawhiti, including, forestry , agriculture, horticulture and hospitality.

Prime Minister John Key and Minister Anne Tolley will be among those joining the Te Toka trainees at the official launch to be held at EIT Tairawhiti campus. During the students’ engagement with the programme they will be provided with academic and pastoral care support, with a strong emphasis on growing professional leadership skills.

Allan Jensen, Chief Financial Officer for Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou and Chairperson of the Te Toka Governance Committee said the programme provides an important opportunity to transform the community’s economic prospects.

“Te Toka will help create training and career opportunities for our young people, so they don’t have to leave the region to find employment. Investing in our future workforce is crucial if our industries are to be successful and our infrastructure assets are to be developed.”

Mr Jensen describes the main point of difference with Te Toka in comparison to similar programmes is the scheme’s collective ethos. “Everyone involved in Te Toka –the trainees, the course tutors, the consortium members and the business community are all on the same team striving to achieve the same goals and objectives. Each member of “Team Toka” has a valuable role to play, and together we can build a better future for our whanau, for our community and for our nation.”


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