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Te Puni Kōkiri Cadetships offer funding to upskill Māori employees

Employers and businesses with Māori staff can access funding through Te Puni Kōkiri’s Cadetships programme and last year more than a hundred successfully did just that.

Investment Director Karen McGuinness says Cadetships supports the upskilling of existing and new Māori employees of any age, targeting “growth” industries such as IT, technology, and science, as well as the more traditional trades, agricultural and infrastructure sectors.

“It’s a real win-win for employers as it offers the opportunity to grow their businesses and employees in what has been a challenging economic landscape,” says Karen. “Cadets have taken on engineering apprenticeships, management responsibilities, and post graduate internships in health, resource management and IT.”

Te Puni Kōkiri has partnered with large organisations, such as NZ Post and Downer, and is increasingly working with small and medium sized businesses.  Māori-owned businesses are encouraged to apply for Cadetships’ funding, along with businesses wanting to grow the number of Māori employees and Māori wāhine, and their skill levels.

Te Puni Kōkiri want to see a structured programme that will increase Māori employees’ leadership, management and work-related skills leading to promotions and higher earnings. 

The initiative is led by employers, who choose their cadets, and organise the programmes for them. Programmes typically last between six and 12 months, and consist of mentoring, tailored training, and development generally with an element of Māori tikanga (customs and values) and a focus on pastoral support and mentoring.

The Cadetships are worth up to $10,000 for each cadet (who can be a new or existing Māori employee) and are for the development of both young and older Māori workers.  This programme supports Te Puni Kōkiri’s focus on building a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive Māori economy.

Organisations interested in applying for the Cadetships programme can contact the local Te Puni Kōkiri office which can assist with applications.