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Sharples Welcomes Training And Job Plans

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Pita Sharples
Pita Sharples

The Minister of Maori Affairs strongly endorses the Government's focus on reducing unemployment among young people.

"My own priority is young Maori, who are disproportionately affected. Te Puni Kokiri has already piloted several initiatives to train and upskill young people, and the Prime Minister launched a new programme only last week," said Dr Sharples.

"The Maori Economic Summit I hosted earlier this year viewed training and employment of young people as critical to how well Maori people survive the economic slump, and how quickly we recover afterwards," he said.

"The key is to focus on long-term benefits. A lot of work has gone into identifying industries and sectors with long-term growth prospects, long-term skill or workforce shortages, and where training and experience will open up long-term career prospects for our young people.

"We have been working alongside trainers and suggesting ways their programmes could be adapted, to improve Maori enrolment and graduation rates. The goal is a package that integrates training, pastoral care and employment, and we have already had some significant successes," he said.

"I also want Maori whanau and communities to take up the new opportunities, both for their young people to get work and training, and for their hapu to benefit from projects like marae renovations and communal gardens.

"Marae-based work skills and employment projects in the past helped create a platform for transformation of communities, by getting young people actively involved in marae, and upgrading the community's infrastructure so the people could meet, discuss and plan to take control of their destiny," said Dr Sharples.

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