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We recently interviewed Mr. Kirk Sargent, Project Manager of Māori and Pasifika Trade Training:Auckland on his thoughts on the construction industry. In the interview, he discusses their association and their role, the challenges faced by Māori as well as Pasifika and the ways to overcome these challenges.

1. Can you give a brief introduction to your association?
We are the collaborative partners between 16 organizations who are committed to provide a seamless pathway for Maori and Pasifika Trainees into certified careers in the trades.

2. What makes the Māori and Pasifika Trade Training:Auckland differ than other training programmes or institutes out there?
Rather than being different from other training providers, we work with existing providers and support trainee success by providing wrap around support to reduce barriers and enable success.

We also work collaboratively with our communities to de-stigmatise the trades as a viable career path.

3. What challenges do Māori or Pasifika encounter when they want to enter the trade industry?
The trades are not always seen as a valuable and worthwhile career, often being viewed as a low-end job. MPTT along with our partners seek to raise the profile of the trades. We also enable trainee engagement by reducing the cost of training and provide fees free scholarships and a tools grant to ensure trainees are well prepared for the workforce.

4. In response to the last question, How can the Māori and Pasifika Trade Training:Auckland help the Māori and Pasifika to overcome the challenges?

We work with parents and families to make sure there is a clear understanding of the opportunities available in the trades.

5. Can you provide us the percentage of Māori or Pasifika working in trades in New Zealand currently?

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6. Coming to Auckland Build Expo 2016, what are your expectations?

We’ll approach this on two fronts:

– Employers aren’t always sure where to go or who to talk to when they need employees. We’re keen to engage in conversations with them and make sure they know we are available and keen connect them with trainees.

– Trainees may not know what the options and opportunities that are open to them. We’ll happily to talk to them and their families.