Hundreds of Maori and Pasifika youth in Auckland will be given free training in construction and infrastructure trades in a bid to reduce unemployment and plug the skills gap in these industries.
A consortium led by the Auckland Council has won a three year Government contract to train around 200 Maori and Pasifika from South Auckland with the aim of finding them a job at the end of it.
Another consortium involving the Manukau Institute of Technology, Unitec and Te Wananga o Aotearoa has also won a contract to provide training to another 650 students across Auckland.
The two contracts are worth around $25 million.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce said there were strong career prospects for skilled trades people.
He said it was a really good time to get into the trades as there had been a big lift in construction in Auckland and Christchurch and the latest figures on the economy proved it was taking off.
Mr Joyce said $43 million would be spent on 3000 training places for Maori and Pasifika by 2015.