At a graduation ceremony held in West Auckland today 50 Māori cadets from around New Zealand were celebrated and presented essential qualifications that will support them into a wide range of trades-related careers.
Te Mana o Whakaaro is the AWF Māori Cadetship Programme and is a partnership with Te Puni Kōkiri – Ministry for Māori Development. The programme aims to upskill Māori AWF employees.
For the past six months the cadets gained trades-related skills ranging from carpentry to food handling and civil construction.
AWF Madison CEO Simon Bennett says the cadets’ hard work and dedication has been impressive and points to a bright future as they build their careers.
“In recent years we’ve heard a lot about skills shortages, particularly in relation to the Canterbury rebuild and the big infrastructure projects in Auckland and Wellington.
“AWF’s training programmes are a way for us to help to maximise the unskilled resource New Zealand already has. Our relationship with Te Puni Kōkiri continues to be very valuable to us as we look to take 60 more cadets for the 2016 programme.”
Former Minister of Māori Affairs Sir Pita Sharples also attended the ceremony at his home marae, and said that this is an area of focus for Māori.
“Trades Training focuses on a practical area of critical importance to Māori – jobs. Through strategic influence and partnerships with other government agencies, industry, and local government we have ensured that these young Māori are qualified. This will mean that they will have a better future,” said Sir Peter.
The event was held at Hoani Waititi Marae in Glen Eden and marked the end of six months of training with AWF, the blue collar arm of AWF Madison, New Zealand’s largest recruitment organisation.