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In the New Zealand labour market there are noticeable differences in employment options and wage levels between different groups, particularly between people of European descent and Māori and Pacific peoples and people born in New Zealand and those born overseas, but also between men and women.

For some of these groups there is also a difference in skill and qualification levels. Education and training programmes designed to meet the needs of a wide range of learners help address these underlying differences in skills and qualifications and over time should help address employment and wage differences as well.

Industry training organisations are working with their industries to identify any particular groups with special training needs within their sectors. There are several ways they then work with the sector to try to address the issues involved.

One type of work that ITOs do in this area is working with Māori, particularly in areas where Māori are asset owners. In some of these industries Māori are over-represented in the workforce, but are under-represented in training and in management. Work is being done to encourage and enable more Māori to participate in training in their chosen occupations and to create specific programmes that cover customary skills and asset ownership.

Industry training organisations also work with new migrants and resident ethnic groups to ensure that they have the skills needed to work in the local labour market and that any international skills they may hold are recognised. Targeted training in language, work culture and specific skills helps new migrants integrate more rapidly into the labour market and can lead to better employment and social outcomes.

Women are still under-represented in many trades and industries, and their incomes across the board are lower on average than those of men. Some ITOs are working to encourage women to enter traditionally male dominated industries, and to remove barriers to women taking part in training or entering the industry at all.

Increasing the representation of specific groups of workers in our industries is vitally important for developing the diversity and effectiveness of the wider New Zealand labour market, particularly in light of forthcoming demographic changes.


Under-Representation Case Studies

InfraTrain Maori Training Initiative

ESITO Women in Power Project

NZHITO Pacific Foundation Programme in Horticulture

All case studies are published in Skilling New Zealand: ITO Leadership in Action