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New Community Initiative Looks At The Future Of Work For Pacific Peoples In South Auckland

Research shows Pacific peoples are estimated to make up one-third of Auckland’s total workforce by 2026 but 59% of Auckland’s Pacific workforce are in lower-skilled occupations.

Pacific peoples in Auckland are overrepresented in jobs such as labourers, machinery operators, cleaners, and container fillers and are underrepresented in managerial and professional roles.

A new report, Pacific Peoples and the Future of Work looks at the current perspectives of Pacific communities in South Auckland about jobs of the future through the Matangi Fou initiative, which means new winds. This partners Pacific communities and business leaders with The Cause Collective, to deliver a set of breakthrough initiatives to support the Future of Work. It is part of the Alo Vaka - Auckland Pacific Skill Shift initiative in partnership with MBIE.

The term Future of Work describes employment opportunities in new and emergent industries, but also jobs in existing industries that have been reconfigured to respond to demographic shifts, globablisation, COVID-19, climate change, and technological advancement. The shared goal is that the Pacific workforce actively participates in quality employment opportunities and transformation looks like a thriving local economy supported by a thriving Pacific community.

The Cause Collective Community Economic Development Lead, Peter Cordtz says improving the outlook and prospects for Pacific peoples in the workforce is not just an equity issue, it’s an economic imperative.

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“In an aging demographic, Pacific people are the youngest and fastest growing population group and will become an increasingly higher proportion of the New Zealand workforce so if we continue as we are now, Pacific communities in South Auckland will not be able to actively participate in, or benefit from, the Future of Work.”

Research conducted by The Cause Collective looked at the current perspectives of Pacific communities in South Auckland about jobs in the future.

“Overall, Pacific communities felt that they were unaware of or how the Future of Work related to their current realities. They were focused on surviving and meeting their immediate needs. They understood the importance of planning for jobs of the future but were unclear about how to go about it.”

Cordtz says the report shows there are two underlying causes that contribute to the overall problem.

“We found that the employers or businesses only do what is necessary and sufficient right now and that workers are not aware of how future jobs relates to their current reality.”

“This report seeks to amplify the voices of Pacific communities in South Auckland to help inform government to include Pacific peoples in the early planning and design of the Future of Work in Aotearoa New Zealand”.

Matangi Fou is embracing transformation through its programmes like the BOSS Young Entrepreneurs programme, and running micro-credential courses in community and church groups in financial and digital literacy. The South Auckland Creative and Tech Hub was created from Matangi Fou’s initial design challenge with young people in South Auckland. SACTH is a gateway for young people to be inspired, access technology and upskill for future creative projects and employment opportunities in the creative and tech sector. Currently, only 2.8% of the current industry is Pacific.

Matangi Fou will officially be launched on Friday, 24th May alongside the Pacific Peoples and the Future of Work Summary Report, a new website, and a communications campaign which includes a series of digital stories looking at Pacific peoples who are already embracing jobs of the future.

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