Maori businesses give students job-hunting tips

Māori businesses are giving rangatahi (youth) an inside look at what skills they will need to be part of New Zealand’s booming $40 billion Māori economy.

Businesses across the construction, agriculture, health and fitness and creative technology industries were involved in Māia, a Careers New Zealand video series designed to inspire, motivate and help rangatahi make informed learning and work choices.

“Māia gave us a unique opportunity to open the door to businesses for rangatahi to have a look inside,” says Keela Atkinson, from Careers New Zealand. “Ngāi Tahu Farming/Whenua Kura, Maui Studios Aotearoa, Ariki Creative, Hale Compound Conditioning and He Toki ki te mahi told their stories and showed kids the roles and opportunities that exist for them upon entering the workforce.

“We want rangatahi to know there’s this burgeoning economy, and opportunities for them to work for successful Māori businesses across a number of thriving industries.”

To give rangatahi a well-rounded view of what it’s like to work for a Maōri business, the employers share their stories and tips on how to add value and contribute by developing strong employability skills like a good attitude, self-motivation, open mindedness, resilience, drive and passion.

Ngāi Tahu Farming/Whenua Kura Dairy Farm manager, Chris Erurera, says his junior staff show drive by “being the first one out of the van ready to work.”

The businesses, which are supported by Te Pūtahitanga (a partnership between the nine iwi of the South Island), emphasised the values they have experienced and encouraged throughout their careers, like whanaungatanga (sense of family connection and networking) and manaakitanga (care and respect for others). Through these values, the idea of employability skills and their importance is reiterated.

Ms Atkinson says, “in every workplace there are people who’ve had to overcome challenges or prove themselves to others.  We’re sharing these stories to show rangatahi they can turn obstacles into strengths, and get the edge by applying for work where their strengths lie.

“The Māia videos are a new way of reaching rangatahi based on the research findings of Project Kāmehameha, which looked at what’s important to youth when using digital tools including, visual interest, story-telling, youthfulness, celebrating Māori success, authenticity and relevance.”

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