Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Matangi Fou helps prepare Pasifika for the jobs of the future

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Grace Fiavaai | Reporter

How Pacific people can better adapt to the changing needs of the labour market is behind a series of initiatives known collectively as Matangi Fou.

Research shows Pacific peoples are estimated to make up one-third of Auckland’s total workforce by 2026 but 59% of Auckland’s Pacific workforce are in lower-skilled occupations.

Pacific peoples in Auckland are overrepresented in jobs such as labourers, machinery operators, cleaners, and container fillers and are underrepresented in managerial and professional roles.

And a new report, Pacific Peoples and the Future of Work, looks at the current perspectives of Pacific communities in South Auckland about jobs of the future through the Matangi Fou Initiative.

This partners Pacific communities and business leaders with community group The Cause Collective, to deliver a set of initiatives to support the Future of Work.  It is part of the Alo Vaka – Auckland Pacific Skill Shift initiative in partnership with MBIE (Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment).

The group’s economic development Lead, Peter Cordtz, says improving the outlook and prospects for Pacific peoples in the workforce is not just an equity issue, it’s an economic imperative and adds that there are two underlying causes that contribute to the overall problem.

“We found that the employers or businesses only do what is necessary and sufficient right now and that workers are not aware of how future jobs relate to their current reality.

“This report seeks to amplify the voices of Pacific communities in South Auckland to help inform the government to include Pacific peoples in the early planning and design of the Future of Work in Aotearoa New Zealand, “ Cordtz says.

Matangi Fou is embracing transformation through initiatives like the BOSS Young Entrepreneurs programme which has been delivered to over 300 young people, aged 16-30 who are thinking about starting the journey to entrepreneurship.

Kenneth Feomaia who is a participant of the BOSS program says it has helped him to upskill and learn how to better run his business.

“Matangi Fou has helped me in my own business expanding my own knowledge learning new stuff that can help me help my business grow.” says Feomaia

Another programme under the Matangi Fou is the micro-credential course which is an  in-work and community training programme offered by The Cause Collective on financial and digital literacy. 

Reverend Ifalame Telsi, who is a pioneer of the programme says, when he heard of it, he shared the initiative with his community as he felt it was important for them to get ahead with the times.

“Now we are living in an age of technology. It’s like, if you don’t know how to use a computer, it’s like you don’t know how to read and write. So this is the pen and paper of nowadays.” he says.

The South Auckland Creative and Tech Hub (SACTH) and mobile hub were created from Matangi Fou’s initial design challenge with young people in South Auckland.  

SACTH is a gateway for young people to be inspired, access technology and upskill for future creative projects and employment opportunities in the creative and tech sector.  

Currently, only two-percent of the current industry is Pacific.

Jarred Eremiha, who is a participant of the SACTH program, says it has opened up opportunities to learn more about what technology can offer.

“It’s important we can use that traditional art and put it into tech and digitise it and show that way to the world,” says Eremiha

“It’s a fun, enjoyable way to put your own innovative way into tech and not just being all about computers, it’s more than that.” 

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