All whānau should have the ability to determine their own future pathways. Historically this right to self determination has been denied by the policy agenda of successive governments who have seen Māori as a brown blue-collar workforce. This policy agenda disadvantages Maori by locking whānau in low-pay jobs with minimal opportunities for upskilling and promotion and maintains Pakeha privilege.
The current approach to the COVID-19 recovery could easily continue this historic pattern of seeing Māori as unskilled labour units. The alternative is to break this pattern altogether by seeing our people as capable, as leaders. To do that is going to take a revolution in the thinking of government and policy makers in Wellington.
Whānau agency – the ability to determine our own future – is key to breaking these historic patterns of injustice and tackling the inequities that are baked into our economy. This outdated way of thinking about the Māori workforce doesn’t just affect Māori, it is the shared future of the New Zealand economy that is at stake. The latest census data shows the Māori workforce grew by 50% between 2013 and 2018, thats an extra 105,000 Māori in just five years!
With our faster growing rangatahi population we need to support them to be the leaders we know they are. Last year a group from Tokona Te Raki hosted some young leaders from The Foundation for Young Australians looking at how they took insights from big-data and youth voice, to better understand the future of work. They then translated these findings (The Foundation for Young Australians, The New Basics, 2016) and shared them with young people so they were inspired by their future and equipped to determine their own path.
How might we share information about future opportunities with whānau and rangatahi in a way that’s meaningful and relevant to them so they can make informed decisions about their future in the post Covid-19 economy?
Tokona Te Raki are about to release our first monthly skills forecasts so that whānau and rangatahi are better informed about which future opportunities actually lead to quality jobs that offer authentic opportunities for learning, growth and leadership.
Link to Te Kete Pukenga Skills Report April/May: