Is the government working to get women back to mahi?

By Bronson Perich

Regional development minister Shane Jones once promised to get ‘the neffs off the couch’. But what about the nieces? Are they taking up the free trade training offered by the government?

Statistics say no.

Whereas 4,000 men have taken up the government-funded free trades training, only 140 women have done so.

The case for women

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson says not only do women tend to be paid less but women of colour even more so.

“Our Green Minister for Women, Julie-Ann Genter did want a real gender analysis across all of the Covid reset and recovery proposals,” Davidson says.

“We’re going to have to make sure we’re not leaving women further behind.”

Davidson wants women to be at the forefront of all employment recovery efforts. She says bringing Māori and Pacific community groups to the table will help put women first.

“I’m afraid there’s a rush to put in jobs at any cost,” she says.

That cost she believes has been a male-centric job creation scheme.

The training sector 

Plumber Hera Eruera helps prepare the workshop for her students - Photo / File

Māori & Pasifika Trades Training has been working hard to encourage women to enter the trades. They want to reverse the trend that women still hold less than 12% of trades jobs. 

Manukau Institue of Technology (MIT) School of Plumbing and Gasfitting are already starting to use their funding to train women.