16 Apr 2013

Low skilled Maori workers in Australia warned of downturn

7:39 pm on 16 April 2013

A Ngapuhi businessman who lives in Sydney says the jobs of Maori in low-skilled occupations are at risk, and they need qualifications that will allow them to move into more secure employment.

Brent Reihana says he agrees with a warning from Victoria University researcher Paul Hamer.

Mr Hamer is studying Maori who move to Australia, and says they could be the first to lose their jobs if there is a downturn in the Australian economy.

Mr Reihana says the mining industry employs hundreds of Maori, and while the industry is still booming, they need to safeguard their social well-being in case employers discard them for cheaper labour.

He says many of those workers are at risk if there are any job cuts.

Mr Reihana says they need to aquire skills that will set them up for careers with greater economic stability.