Topic: Employment

Waikato-Tainui creates new industry training initiative

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Job seekers in Waikato Tainui will have a better chance of a career in a huge range of industries after the iwi signed an agreement with 11 of the country's top industry training organisations.

Waikato-Tainui CEO Donna Flavell says “It's about providing wider opportunities for our whānau.  Skills outside of the normal universities are important as well and that's what our people are telling us, they want to have a lot more options available to them.”

Last year Waikato Regional Council recorded nearly six percent of people in the area were unemployed, a figure which iwi hope will drop with this initiative.

“The statistics say many things and it tells us that we need to do more in terms of supporting our whānau into long-term pathways and so this agreement today, the relationship with these 11 ITOs go somewhere to address that,” says Flavell.

ITOs include primary industries, engineering, marine industry, fitness training and beauty therapy- jobs in high demand according to industry trainers.

Myles Fothergill from NZ MAC’s boat building industry and HITO CEO Kay Nelson are just two of the 11 industry trainers who signed the agreement today.

Fothergill says “With the Americas Cup it's created a lot of interest in our industry. It's the future leaders that we need to be training now.”

It's not just a question of training people to make things but also to be part of service industries such as hospitality and the beauty industry, including hairdressing.

Nelson says “Like all the other ITO's we're just training people to be an apprentice hairdresser or beauty therapists, we want people to move on and employ people themselves.”

Waikato-Tainui says the apprenticeships are not exclusive to youth, with opportunities also available for older students who want to retrain.