The Restaurant Association of New Zealand wants to increase the number of Maori in the hospitality industry because Maori culture and hospitality go hand in hand.
The association has launched a new apprenticeship scheme in the North Island to help business owners select quality apprentices from its talent pool to give them a foot in the door and develop their skills.
Chief executive Marisa Bidois says the hospitality industry is hungry for young Maori who can transfer the catering skills they have learnt on the marae to restaurant kitchens, eateries and bars.
She says one of the initiatives of the scheme is to really encourage young Maori into the hospitality sector.
Ms Bidois says a lot of people may have already had experience in food preparation on the marae and those kinds of skills are a bonus which will help on the apprenticeship scheme.
She says the Restaurant Association will be visiting more schools and doing more newspaper advertising to get more rangatahi involved.