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Pacific students ready to step into the trades

Pacific students ready to step into the trades

A unique partnership between tertiary education organisations (TEOs) and Pacific churches has seen hundreds of Pacific people trained to help in the Christchurch rebuild, says Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce and Pacific Island Affairs Minister Hekia Parata.

The two groups combined to implement the $6 million Pacific Trades Training Initiative, which is part of the Government’s wider $42 million Skills for Canterbury package to maintain the expanded training pipeline for trades people for the Canterbury rebuild.

Tonight the Fellowship of Samoan Ministers Wellington Region will host an event to celebrate the graduation of 67 local students from the 2012 initiative and welcome students into the 2013 programme.

“The Pacific Trades Training initiative was developed to reach Pacific students who may not normally consider entering into trades such as carpentry, joinery and plumbing. It’s fantastic to see Pacific students succeeding as a result of its introduction,” Mr Joyce says.

The initiative is effectively a scholarship to support Pacific peoples to enter trades training in 2012 and 2013 and provides up to 300 fees-free places in trades training throughout New Zealand.

“I’d like to congratulate and thank our Pacific church ministers who are taking a lead role in tonight’s celebration as they have been critical to the success of the initiative,” Ms Parata says.

“They worked closely with tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to mobilise large numbers of Pacific peoples, to get them involved and raise the profile of trades as a viable career option. They are also, of course, helping greatly through their contribution to restoring Christchurch as a vibrant and liveable city.

“Their on-going support and mentoring of students has also been a key ingredient in the success of the initiative.

“I congratulate all 2012 Pacific Trades Scholarship graduates and wish them the best as they embark on a career in the trades,” says Ms Parata.

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