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Careerforce, alongside 10 other industry training organisations (ITO’s) has signed a historic agreement (Kawenata) with Waikato Tainui. This initiative represents an important step in the tribe’s plan to increase career opportunities for its people.

The Kawenata outlines a mutual commitment to co-design and deliver on annual action plans based on the needs of both organisations, plus importantly, a commitment to supporting Waikato Tainui tribal members attain a minimum NZQA level 4 tertiary qualification.

The 11 Industry Training Organisations celebrate the signing of the Kawenata

Photo credits: Waikato Tainui

Ray Lind, Careerforce CEO, is excited at the potential for the role this Kawenata can play within its wider workforce development plans, “We look forward to supporting Waikato Tainui, and their proactive investment in Iwi futures; our goals align well with those of Waikato Tainui. Māori account for a large proportion of both Careerforce trainees, and the existing health and wellbeing sector workforce, and there are significant skills shortages hampering these sectors. Any initiatives that support both the development of the Māori workforce, and help address these shortages have to be win-wins.”

For Waikato Tainui, CEO Donna Flavell says the agreements are designed to give their people options so that they are able to arm themselves with the skills that they require, to stand proudly as their future parents and leaders.

“I am excited by the possibilities ahead and this is untested ground for these ITOs, but they have taken a bold step and the signals that they have sent to the market today will have far reaching and positive consequences for our people and our region.”

Lind sees the agreement as providing a pathway for Careerforce working directly with Iwi, as part of Careerforce’s mission of improving the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders.


Published on Scoop on 27 February 2018.


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Careerforce is the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for the health, mental health, youth work, disability, social services and cleaning sectors. Careerforce support employers across New Zealand’s health and wellbeing sectors to run workplace training programmes, allowing staff to achieve nationally recognised qualifications on and off the job. We are the Government appointed body that sets skill standards, develops and facilitates achievement of NZQA qualifications across all our sectors. For more information please see: