Following on from the last successful social procurement event focused on the opportunities here in Tauranga Moana, employment connections and support was a direct response to the needs advised by our Māori businesses. Staffing and employment are currently one of the biggest challenges for our employers across the region.
Ara Rau Operations Manager, Mary Stewart, provided an overview of Ara Rau and the young people they are supporting with their work readiness programme. We played the Industry Open Day video to highlight the ways in which Ara Rau can connect businesses to people looking for work.
The Ministry of Social Development spoke about the support employers can have access to like Flexi wage, and Rick Nicholson from Trade up provided an update on the Regional Apprenticeships Initiative and the success they have had with 80% of apprentices finishing their apprenticeship. Te Puni Kokiri highlighted their cadetship programme and Māori Enterprise to support Māori business owners to build their capability.
With over 70% of the businesses in the room only beginning their business journey within the last two years, it was great to connect them with the information and support they need.
We look forward to the next event in the social procurement series to strengthen the Māori and Pacifica business network in Tauranga Moana.