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More Pathways Into Mahi Welcome

EMA Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says the announcement today of funding to support more than 500 Māori job seekers into employment and training opportunities is welcome.

"We know these sorts of initiatives deliver benefits, especially when they are very targeted like this funding through the Māori Trades and Training Fund (MTTF) and He Poutama Rangatahi projects," he says.

It is pleasing to see funding going to local groups in Auckland, Northland and the Bay of Plenty, where there are dire shortages of workers, and existing employment opportunities with major infrastructure projects, many instigated through the Provincial Growth Fund process. This will help some of the EMA’s 7,400 members fill the skills chasm they are facing and at the same time strengthen their communities.

"We are absolutely supportive of initiatives that help people get into meaningful employment, education and training, and we are continuing to work closely alongside government agencies, providers and employers to get the best outcomes for job seekers."

Mr O’Riley reiterates that another tool in the box to fill available jobs would be an overstayer amnesty.

"We’ve got an estimated 14,000 people who need the work but are scared of coming out of the shadows for fear of being sent home because of their temporary status, and who won’t have the financial security they used to," he says.

"We need to address these overstayers’ issues and have a clearly defined pathway to residency in New Zealand for those impacted, the voices of our Pacific Island and other migrant communities need to be heard and acted upon."

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