The Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) programme is designed to increase access for Māori and Pasifika learners to vocational and pre-employment training. This enables these learners to develop skills for sustainable employment and achieve better employment outcomes.

The MPTT programme is delivered through consortia approach, which involves partnerships between tertiary education organisations (TEOs), local employers, and communities including Māori and Pasifika groups. The consortia aim to improve outcomes for Māori and Pasifika learners by developing new pathways to training and, ultimately, sustainable employment.

Analysis to bring gender into the policy issue identified that women did not participate in high numbers in trades training, and even then, tended to be concentrated in training for female-dominated occupations such as hairdressing and beauty therapy. Visibility was noted as a key issue to be addressed.

In terms of policy options and implementation, the Minister for Women in late 2015 led a requirement for the funding agreements of each consortium to register their aspirational targets for women learners. These targets were deliberately intended to prompt an increase in women’s representation in high priority trades training, rather than in lower priority fields such as hairdressing and beauty therapy. The targets were set at around 30 percent, because this was seen as a tipping point beyond which women’s participation was seen as normal.

Work to increase the number of women in trades training has included:

  • releasing inspirational case-studies of Māori and Pacific women in trades. These stories can be found in the publication Māori and Pasifika women in trades: Stories of wāhine developing trades careers
  • brokering a relationship between Wiri Prison and the Southern Initiative MPTT to get female prisoners into training that leads to long-term work
  • working with PACIFICA Inc. to champion Pacific women and girls entering trades training, including holding a workshop with PACIFICA women and their families.

In terms of bringing gender into monitoring and evaluation, consortia were required to track progress towards targets for women. Between 2014 and 2017, the total number of Māori and Pacific learners doubled from 1,191 to 2,381 over the same period. For women, it grew from 251 (21 percent) to 795 (33 percent).