Kicking-starting rewarding and sustainable career paths for young Pacific people in Aotearoa is the goal of a new programme introduced by Downer NZ in partnership with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.
Atia’ele Afolau is a programme targeted at Pacific young adults, aged 17-24, to kick-start their civil infrastructure careers and pathways to permanent employment at Downer.
Last week, eight participants completed a week-long course consisting of workshops on topics such as confidence-building, communications skills and financial advice.
Pacific People’s Minister, Aupito William Sio, says the partnership with Downer will support young people into meaningful careers.
“I am so impressed by the young graduates I have met. They have learned new skills, formed new connections, and their future is bright,” he says.
“My advice to them now is to seize this opportunity, be proud of it, and realise your fullest potential so you can contribute not just to your own family but to our wider community.”
The course concluded with a graduation ceremony in Mt Smart, and another programme is slated for next year, which will bring the total to 15 graduates.
Downer’s Executive General Manager Zero Harm, Barry Bignell, says Downer is excited to welcome the new graduates now that they have gained new technical skills.
“We are also very excited to be partnering with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, whose support was integral to the launch of this pilot programme,” he says.
“We are looking forward to delivering more of these programmes and bringing more of our Pacific community into great roles within our industry.”