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Trades campaign tackles barriers for Māori and Pasifika

Trades campaign tackles barriers for Māori and Pasifika

Helping Māori and Pasifika overcome obstacles to learning a trade is the aim of a new campaign featuring some well-known Kiwi personalities.

Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) Auckland has launched the Youse Got Choices social media campaign, which sees influencers in the Māori and Pasifika community share straight-talking and inspiring messages about a career in the trades.

Those featured include former Silver Ferns player Bernice Mene, ex-Warriors coach and Kiwi league player Tony Kemp and Maungakiekie-Tāmaki ward chair Josephine Bartley.

Through a series of 15-second videos, the influencers promote the trades as a great career choice and address perceived barriers – from a lack of self belief to the misconception that trades are for high-school dropouts.

“One reason we don’t have enough Māori and Pasifika in skilled trades is because of stigma and misconceptions about the sector,” says Kirk Sargent, MPTT Auckland project manager.

“Some people believe if they did well in school, the trades is a less lucrative option; others worry they’re not smart enough or strong enough; while others are concerned about how they’ll pay for their fees or support their family while training.”

But with so much support available, so many different ways to train, and such variety in trades roles, there really are no barriers to having a long and successful trades career, says Sargent.

“We want Māori and Pasifika to know they have choices. You can choose a trade that’s interesting to you. You can choose to train for free through an MPTT scholarship. You can choose to earn while you learn. The choices are there – you can go as far as you want to.

“Some of our trainees have come from challenging backgrounds but once they start learning their trade, we see their confidence grow. The practical skills they learn are life-changing for them, their whānau and their communities.”

Youse Got Choices highlights the many rewarding career options available to people in the trades, both in terms of the range of skills and specialisations, and the flexibility to become self-employed.

“A career in the trades opens up doors and gives you choices,” says Sargent. “You can stay on the tools, work your way into management or start your own business. You can even use your skill as a way to travel and work in other countries.”

The campaign also tackles the issue of female underrepresentation in the trades.

“Trades are a really good career option, but it’s not just for the guys. We want more women in the industry,” says Mene in her campaign video.

Videos from Youse Got Choices will be shared on social media with a view to recruit more than 800 new trainees in 2018.

To be eligible for support from MPTT Auckland, applicants must be aged between 16 and 40 years and be of Māori or Pasifika heritage. Eligible trainees have their fees paid and get practical support to become work-ready and find a job in their chosen trade.

More than 2000 young men and women have already benefited from the MPTT programme since it was launched in 2015.

Find out more at

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About MPTT Auckland

Auckland Māori and Pacific Trades initiative (AMPTI) is the legal name for the consortium of Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), Unitec Institute of Technology (Unitec) , Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWoA), Hawkins Group, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Maia, Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), The Skills Organisation, Competenz, Connexis, The Fono’s, Oceania Career Academy,

G & H Training, Skills4Work, Service IQ and MITO.

For more information, visit

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