Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says the government can do more for Māori employment. This comes as a new $55mil tech facility is announced for the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT).
“We know that we need to be doing more in trades. We need to be providing employers and businesses with the skilled trade people that they need and we're not doing that well enough in that area," says Hipkins.
MIT's new centre for engineering and trades will be capable of supporting 1,200 students and 100 staff.
Hipkins says long term employment for Māori remains a focus of the government.
“We have 90,000 young New Zealanders who are...not in any form of education or employment or training and far too many of those are Māori or Pacific.”
Māori make up around 15% of students in the current engineer and trades unit at MIT.
Chief Executive of Manukau Institute of Technology Gus Gilmore says, “We're working with all of the South Auckland schools, on any one day at MIT there's over 5,000 students doing some form of trade at MIT. Māori are an important part of that and we continue to reach out to them.”
In the engineer and trades unit 75% of students go onto jobs.
“We know that we've got to do a better job of actually linking up the training that's happening on the job...with the training happening off the job at places like this, through our institute of technology like this and polytechnics. That's a big part of our reform programme, what it's all about,” says Hipkins.
Students are expected to be in the new facility by next July.