How to get a brighter future for rangatahi

By Te Ao - Māori News

Māori are over-represented in industries vulnerable to economic shocks and under-represented in future growth sectors.

That's according to the latest report from Ngāi Tahu Tokona Te Raki: Māori Futures Collective in partnership with BERL (Business and Economic Research Ltd).

 Ka Whati Te Tai: A Generation Disrupted focuses on the economic impacts of Covid-19 on Māori. The report explores both challenges and opportunities for Māori in the new work order.

“The reality of this pandemic is that the economic impacts of Covid-19 will almost certainly be far worse and more lasting than the health impacts,” BERL chief economist Hillmare Schulze says. “We estimate that about half of the Māori workforce are employed in industries that will be directly impacted by the response to Covid-19.”

 Tokona Te Raki executive director Dr Eruera Tarena says "historic policy decisions by successive governments have channelled Māori towards blue-collar careers where we are vulnerable to future change.

Leveraging cultural strengths

“This leaves Māori last on for any economic boom and first off for any economic bust, and Covid-19 is no exception. With this in mind we need to use the opportunities arising to transform our approach to education so our rangatahi are future-ready and able to thrive in an ever-changing world.”  

The report identifies future skills that can support rangatahi and their whānau to move into the new economy and be ready to adapt and thrive.

“Rangatahi need skills for the future, not the past,” Dr Tarena says.  “A greater focus on future skills like collaboration, problem-solving, creativity and teamwork leverages our cultural strengths as Māori and opens up new pathways to the high-pay jobs of the future. With the right approach, we can emerge stronger than before and be instrumental in shaping the future, not just surviving it.’