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InfraTrain Maori Training Initiative

InfraTrain, the infrastructure ITO, is at the forefront of the Te Puni Kōkiri initiative ‘Māori in Industry and Trades Training’ aimed at strengthening the skills and qualifications of Māori across industries that offer the best employment prospects. InfraTrain was selected because of its strong track record and commitment to progressing Māori within their industry. Expanding industry and trades training is essential to improving productivity and is beneficial for both trainees and employers.

The support of Te Puni Kōkiri is enabling InfraTrain to expand their existing work with new Māori trainees to help them gain industry skills and qualifications. The ITO is also assisting Māori who presently work in the industry to gain higher-level qualifications. There is also a focus on helping more Māori into leadership roles in the industry. InfraTrain continues to work with schools to develop opportunities for young Māori to enter the infrastructure industry through the Gateway programme as well.

As part of the training initiative, InfraTrain commissioned a pilot skills development project in Waikato that was hugely successful. The pilot has now been expanded into a year-long project providing support to 250 Māori trainees in Auckland, Northland, Waikato, East Coast and Hawkes Bay.

In May 2010 InfraTrain awarded National Diploma Scholarships to eight Māori in the civil infrastructure industry. The scholarships will enable employees to develop the skills and knowledge they need to reach their full potential in their personal and professional lives.

Speaking at the scholarship presentation, Hon Dr Pita Sharples said, “The real strength of this programme is that it is tailored to meet the needs of both Māori employees and employers – ensuring it is flexible and practical enough to succeed in the everyday work life of those involved. Those receiving the Scholarships are an example to all Māori working within the civil infrastructure industry of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication.”

A significant and important proportion of the civil infrastructure workforce is Māori, and with targeted support and upskilling they can play a vital role in planning, designing, building and managing industry projects. Current Government plans to invest heavily in infrastructure will create more employment opportunities for a highly skilled workforce. The InfraTrain initiatives will enable Māori in the industry to develop their skills and ensure they are ready to meet the challenges the future will bring.