MPTT Whanaungatanga Day 2018
Yesterday was one of those days where I walked away with my kete overflowing. It’s moments like these that remind us of the bigger purpose of what we do so naturally as mana whenua and tangata Pasifika and how manaaki helps uplift each of our worlds.
Aimee Hutcheson, Maori Advisor at Skills, describes the welcome of new students at the 2018 Maori and Pacific Trades Training (MPTT) Whanaungatanga Day held at Hayman Park in Manukau this week.
This year, the second time the Whanaungatanga Day has been run through MPTT, Skills’ staff worked with 200 electrical and plumbing trainees and apprentices while other Industry Training Organisations worked alongside students from their industry sectors.
Aimee explains: “Whanaungatanga day is for our tauira, a time for us to get to know them and their whanau, to begin building positive relationships, to welcome them into another whanau, the MPTT whanau, and to celebrate as they embark on the next stage of their journey into trades. It is also time to let them know they now have a network of people within the MPTT whanau who are there to support them.”
Tony Laulu, Pasifika Advisor from Skills says: “Whanaungatanga Day is a good chance for trainees to meet each other, get to know the MPTT team, and learn about the support MPTT can offer on their journey to becoming fully qualified tradespeople and proud members of the community. It’s good for them to see who we are as we will be popping up a few times during their lifetime of study as they transition from school to an apprenticeship. Next time we will be familiar faces.”
Manaakitanga, the important place of welcome and hospitality, is recognised across many cultures and is particularly evident in the Maori and Pasifika worlds. Not surprisingly, providing a forum to welcome, discover and share commonalities, and to strengthen social bonds as early as possible in the apprenticeship journey translates into sound business practice and is backed by solid research.
A comprehensive Australian study ‘Understanding the non-completion of apprentices’ explored more than a decade of literature and shows the start of the journey is the most critical period. Of all people who quit their apprenticeships, 40% do so within their first six months and 60% within the first year. On the other hand, apprentices with strong social networks, particularly those that included other trade workers, were more likely to stay engaged and complete their programme.
Aimee Hutcheson sums up: “Like anything, we begin by planting a seed. Whanaungatanga is one of those seeds, as a collective we all will need to ensure it is watered throughout the year for it to flourish and bare many fruits which may one day feed a whanau.”
Check out the Maori TV coverage on the MPPT Whanaungatanga Day.