New Zealand construction firms have been urged to provide jobs and internships for young Maori and Pasifika people.
Employers gathered in Auckland today to hear about a trades training programme aimed at plugging a predicted labour shortage in the construction and infrastructure sectors.
It is estimated 32,000 jobs will be generated in the next three to five years in New Zealand.
Auckland's Mayor Len Brown says the initiative will help address the high number of unemployed Maori and Pasifika people and boost the city's economy.
"There are a lot of jobs coming through in the market place and we're hearing from the employers here today. They've got jobs coming out of their ears. But we also know we've got a disconnection from some of our youth who are coming through school and then are just dropping out. And we just can't have that, it's no good for them and it's no good for us."
The New Zealand Government is spending $43 million over four years to expand Maori and Pasifika trades training and apprenticeships.