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Opportunities for Pacific youth in trades


27 November 2017


Opportunities for Pacific youth in trades

Oceania Career Academy is working to generate more young Pacific people into higher paid employment, delivering a student-focused, career-focused and industry-driven programme.

2018 spaces for Pacific youth aged 16-19 are available in the new combined National Certificate in Building Construction and Allied Trades / NZ Certificate in Manufacturing.

The course runs for a year and is free to eligible students.

The first intake starts in February 2018 and OCA General Manager Anthony Tuitahi encourages eligible students to apply.

“We’re enrolling young Pacific people who may not have found their way just yet,” he says.

“Part of what we offer is supporting youth through the programme who might need that extra help - whether it’s tutoring or pastoral care and cultural support.”

Anthony adds that it’s also about helping them onto a pathway with a clear future.

“We do what it takes to get our Pacific youth qualified and into higher-paying jobs,” he says.

There are plenty of opportunities for Pacific youth to build a career in trades. OCA is part of the Southern Initiative and the Maori Pasifika Trades Training Initiative (MPTT).

MPTT states there is a shortage of qualified tradespeople in New Zealand and an increasing number of jobs in the industry. At the same time, Māori and Pasifika are underrepresented in skilled trades’ positions.

The OCA programme aims to address some of the gap in representation.

“From the more than 300 students that have come through OCA’s programmes so far, the vast majority are either in employment or undertaking further study,” says Anthony.

Samoan student Ezra Cossill studied with OCA in 2014 and secured a carpenter/builder apprenticeship with NR Developments, a building and construction company specialising in residential new builds and renovations.

“I like using my hands and there’s more practical learning involved. It’s definitely better for some people,” says Ezra.

“I also enjoy the variety of places I go to when I’m working. I’m more of an outdoors type of person, so being a chippie is perfect.”

To study in the free 2018 Certificate in Building and Construction Level 2 programme, students need to be of Pacific descent and aged 16-19. They also need to have a maximum qualification of an NCEA Certificate Level 1 to qualify.

“It’s a good time to be in a trade, with plenty of opportunities for our kids to carve out a future,” says Anthony.

“We’re encouraging anyone who may be interested, including parents, family members and students themselves, to get in touch with us and see how we can help.”

ENDS

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