Ten industry training organisations (ITOs) have signed an historic agreement (Kawenata) with Waikato Tainui in a bid to increase career opportunities for the tribe’s people.

The Kawenata outlines a mutual commitment to co-design and deliver on annual action plans based on the needs of both organisations, plus importantly, a commitment to supporting Waikato Tainui tribal members attain a minimum NZQA level 4 tertiary qualification.

Careerforce, ITO for the health and wellbeing sector, is among the ITOs to sign.

Chief executive Ray Lind is excited at the potential for the role this Kawenata can play within its wider workforce development plans.

“We look forward to supporting Waikato Tainui, and their proactive investment in Iwi futures; our goals align well with those of Waikato Tainui. Māori account for a large proportion of both Careerforce trainees, and the existing health and wellbeing sector workforce, and there are significant skills shortages hampering these sectors. Any initiatives that support both the development of the Māori workforce, and help address these shortages have to be win-wins.”

Waikato Tainui chief executive Donna Flavell says the agreements are designed to give their people options so that they are able to arm themselves with the skills that they require, to stand proudly as their future parents and leaders.

“I am excited by the possibilities ahead and this is untested ground for these ITOs, but they have taken a bold step and the signals that they have sent to the market today will have far reaching and positive consequences for our people and our region.”

Image (courtesy of Waikato Tainui): The 11 Industry Training Organisations celebrate the signing of the Kawenata

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