"Pae Aronui offers us an opportunity to improve the profile of Māori in the labour market. Rather than being over-represented in low-skilled occupations and industries vulnerable to economic changes, we want more Māori in higher-skilled roles in growth industries," Willie Jackson says.
"We are a Government that wants people in work. This scheme delivers on our objective to ensure that everyone who can, is learning, earning, caring or volunteering.
"Too many of our rangatahi have left the education system without the qualifications they need to get good jobs. Helping these rangatahi and their whānau figure out what options they have to achieve and pursue their aspirations is critical," Willie Jackson says.
The Government allocated $15 million in Budget 2018 to support outcomes for rangatahi Māori that enhance the skills and employment opportunities. The funding supports the wider aims of He Poutama Rangatahi – the government strategy aimed at getting more rangatahi into employment.
The scheme works by providers and employers working together growing skills rangatahi need to secure ongoing employment in growth industries, such as building and construction, IT, hospitality and tourism, underpinned by pastoral care.
Pae Aronui targets urban areas of South and West Auckland, Hamilton, Porirua and the Hutt Valley as they have the highest number of Māori rangatahi who are not in employment, education or training, and with the highest projected employment growth rates.
"Today's announcement of the Rangatahi ki Mua pilot project in Waikato is the first of the Pae Aronui programmes to be delivered, and I look forward to more in the future," Willie Jackson says.
(With Inputs from New Zealand Government Press Release)