Manawatū-Whanganui training and upskilling boost

Published: Aug 7, 2020 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020

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  • News and announcements
  • Manawatū/Whanganui

Three Manawatū-Whanganui programmes will receive nearly $2.5 million of support from the Provincial Growth Fund’s (PGF) Te Ara Mahi allocation to support local jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill.

The purpose of the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi - Pathway to Employment fund is to lift productivity potential in the regions by connecting local people to local employment opportunities. 

The three PGF funding recipients are:

  • The Central Region Major Projects Skills Hub Trust - $1.04 million. Funding will be used to establish a programme to connect large scale infrastructure projects, such as Te Ahu A Turanga - the Manawatū-Tararua highway, with a skilled workforce.
  • Te Rūnanga o Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa - $864,000. Funding will go towards the Education, Training and Employment (ETE) programme, which will help local providers to give training at the Rūnanga-owned site, Te Puna in Rangitīkei. 
  • Tararua Rural Education Activities Programme (REAP) – $574,000. Funding will be used to coordinate training, job placement and employment opportunities for growth sectors in Tararua, including the primary industries and additional sectors as needed.

Funding was announced in Manfeild on 2 July, at the National Drivers Training Centre – a project that had previously received PGF funding. Margaret Kouvelis, Central Region Major Projects Skills Hub Trustee, acknowledged this connection following the announcement. 

“The work here is really second to none. It has attracted people to return home from Wellington and Auckland, and the Central Region Major Projects Skills Hub will do the same,” said Mrs Kouvelis. 

Pahia Turia, Chair of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa, highlighted the importance of training initiatives for the iwi.

“The Rūnanga is an intergenerational investor, and our success depends on having people who have the skills to help our aspirations thrive,” said Mr Turia. 

Claire Chapman, General Manager of the Tararua REAP, said the organisation would work alongside employers, jobseekers and social services to benefit the area. 

“In Tararua we know that businesses struggle to find suitable employers, particularly as our young people leave the area for other opportunities. We truly believe this investment will reap returns for the region,” said Ms Chapman.

A group of three people smiling. Next to them is a Provincial Growth fund sign.

Margaret Kouvelis, Pahia Turia and Claire Chapman represent three programmes receiving funding at an announcement event in Manfeild on 2 July 2020.