The programme is a central government initiative to assist Māori and Pasifika, aged 16 to 40, to:
- gain qualifications through training and apprenticeships
- secure sustainable employment with opportunities for progression.
The programme is based on close collaboration with an employer consortium and training providers to ensure trainees meet the needs and requirements of the industry.
The Southern Initiative coordinates training providers to deliver courses and recruit Māori and Pasifika people to take up trade training.
There is a focus on recruiting vulnerable young people not in education, training or employment, who are often challenging to reach.
Participants are recruited through Work and Income, community organisations, iwi and prisons.
Young people, who often have limited exposure to work, benefit particularly from the soft skills training that the programme provides. Moreover, young people enter into the programme with confidence that a clear path to sustainable employment is part of the programme.
Following the training participants receive assistance to find a job. They and their employer receive post-employment support to ensure that any challenges are managed.
In 2015, a majority of participants were offered full-time employment or apprenticeships following their training.
Employers are positive about the programme and value the contribution of the participants to their businesses.
Māori and Pasifika Trades Training is an example of organisations working together to empower young people and improve outcomes for some of Auckland's most vulnerable people.