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Ka whati te tai: a generation disrupted. The challenges and opportunities for Māori, post covid-19

Tokana Te Raki - Māori Futures Collective, Berl, Hillmare Schulze, Konrad Hurren
Tokana Te Raki, Māori Futures Collective. Berl
Publication date:  

Extract from the executive summary:

The impact of COVID-19 on Māori will be acutely felt by rangatahi. This research highlights that a significant proportion of rangatahi are employed in sectors negatively impacted by the response to COVID-19. Further, a substantial proportion of entry level jobs, might not be available in the near future as a fallout of COVID-19.

The question becomes, what are rangatahi to do? Historically, it was entry level positions such as retail, hospitality, and some manufacturing jobs that were attractive for rangatahi coming out of education. However, given the new reality, these might not be available. Also, not all rangatahi are interested in further formal education. Policies and plans by iwi and government need to ensure credible options, whilst considering the demographic structure of Māori and the inter-generational aspect of decisions made now for rangatahi in the immediate future.

These key points reinforce that preparation for the future is about upskilling, reskilling and understanding what rangatahi need to thrive in the new work order.

The response to COVID-19 will prompt a reallocation of capital around the economy and rising unemployment. From this reallocation comes opportunities. Skills for navigating the new work order are not just about formal education. In order to fully grasp these opportunities, we recommend a focus on:

  • Designing programmes for life-long learning – education needs to be a life-long journey to accommodate future skill needs
  • Exploring dynamic and agile education systems that keep Māori engaged in learning so that they are always growing to meet emerging opportunities and never left behind
    The FYA report The New Basics recommends a new curriculum to teach enterprise skills and creativity – this is just as relevant in Aotearoa
  • Addressing the digital divide – ensuring rangatahi have access to an internet connected device for recreation as well as education
  • Not all skills are learned formally – rangatahi benefit from having a device to tinker with
  • Empowering whānau to make the home a place for learning.

April 2020

Tokana Te Raki, Māori Futures Collective | Berl