Pasifika Students meet Industry
Industry leaders meet the new generation of Pasifika tradespeople at an event hosted by The Built Environment Training Alliance (BETA) and CPIT next Tuesday night (29 May).
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, and key industry employers will speak to the Pasifika community at the function about employment opportunities for the rebuild of Christchurch.
CPIT, as part of an initiative led by the Tertiary Education Commission, launched Pasifika Trades Training (PTT) this year to provide industry-endorsed trades training that leads to employment, contributes to the skills demand in Christchurch and benefits Pasifika individuals, families and communities. The programme is run in partnership with ministers from the Pasifika church community and embedded in a cultural context.
The Built Environment Training Alliance (BETA) is an alliance of eight Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) that have an interest in the building, construction and infrastructure industries. “We are passionate about ensuring the Pasifika community has every opportunity to achieve within the sector,” BETA Chair Philip Aldridge said. “Central to this is our commitment to facilitating collaboration between ITOs and industry employers.” Companies such as Hawkins have been quick to respond.
"The successful rebuild of Christchurch requires investment in the local communities,” Hawkins National Manager of Health and Safety, Andrew Confait, said. “Hawkins is big on forming local partnerships and we are working with Ngāi Tahu to build Māori capability within the trade industry by facilitating employment opportunities and supporting graduates of He Toki ki te Rika, CPIT’s Māori trade training programme.
“Together we can widen the potential labour pool for the local construction industry, which can only be good for the regional rebuild.”
The programme is already producing success stories. Junior Loua was a machine upgrader before signing up with PTT. The programme facilitated his return to training by providing a scholarship and cultural support. “It’s a second chance. I never made it to year 10 because of family commitments - supporting my family and things like that. At PTT we have this saying, that we can only work as fast as the last man, so we motivate each other,” he said.
Pasifika Trades Training student Junior Loua says that industry support is important.
Junior has completed six months of fitting and turning under PTT and soon starts six months of welding and fabrication. The opportunity to meet employers was important, he said; “So Pasifika will see that employers do want them and they have got a sense of direction.”
Rev. Fitifiti Luatua supports the PTT students and regularly visits the workshops and classrooms at CPIT. He believes that upskilling Pasifika benefits the wider population. “An area of education we really need is qualified trades people in our community in the future, especially with the rebuild of the city… for the benefit of everyone. But the most important thing is that there are a lot of prospects for jobs and apprenticeships ready.”
An estimated 18,000 skilled people are needed for construction and infrastructure work in Christchurch in the next two to three years. Collaboration amongst polytechnics, ITOs, industry and government is essential to ensure that all Cantabrians have the opportunity to upskill and contribute to New Zealand’s biggest building and recovery project.
The BETA/CPIT Pasifika Training and Employment event is on Tuesday 29 May, 5.30 to 7pm at Student Services Building, Sullivan Avenue campus, CPIT.