The He Toki Apprenticeship Trust, which has successfully recruited over 50 apprentices for the construction sector in a little over a year, is expanding into civil construction through a partnership with City Care in a joint venture partnership with JFC. These new agreements will allow He Toki to not only support Canterbury, but also the Kaikōura rebuild.

He Toki, Programme Manager, Kym Hamilton, says the new agreements will not only allow us to get more Māori into the trades, but also to support whānau in Kaikōura by assisting them into employment and training over the next 12 months to rebuild their roads and whare.

“We are also looking at how we can support those who have been involved in tourism and hospitality in Kaikōura, who might want to stay working in this sector and gain more skills and qualifications outside the region, similar to a gap year,” says Kym.

“The City Care JFC joint venture have offered spaces on their projects for rangatahi in Christchurch and Kaikōura. He Toki apprentices will get a chance to experience the range of disciplines that form the civil construction sector before making a decision about specialisation” says Kym.

“The programme has been so successful to date because we are working with exemplary employers who are committed to employing young local Māori,” she says.

Rhys Head, from the City Care JFC joint venture is also part of Matapopore and has recently been co-opted onto He Toki Trust governance. Rhys says, “The need for social outcomes as part of our development in the city and the region is a no-brainer and especially to support those who often face barriers to employment”.

John Fitzgerald, Project Director for the City Care JFC joint venture, is keen to see a community wide impact from this partnership. “We want to develop the workforce of tomorrow and create more opportunities for women and those underrepresented to enter, succeed and lead in the industry”.

According to Eruera Tarena, Chief Executive of Te Tapuae o Rehua, the feedback He Toki has been receiving from employers has been inspiring.

“We have received feedback from employers that our apprentices are really adding value on site and are contributing to the development of stronger teams,” says Eru.

He Toki Apprenticeship Trust brings together the strengths, knowledge, expertise, capability and networks of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Tapuae o Rehua, Hawkins Group, and Ara Institute of Canterbury. The Patron is Tā Mark Solomon.

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