National | Education

New programme encourages Māori and Pasifika graduates into public service

Māori are underrepresented in graduate roles in the public service and a programme to combat this and help Māori graduates kick-start their careers has opened for applications.

Run by Te Tari Taiwhenuea -The Department of Internal Affairs and supported by Student Job Search, the GovTechTalent programme is expected to provide opportunities for graduates to take up government roles.

Victoria University law and commerce student Te Maia Pihema is an ambassador for the GovTechTalent programme.

“It's a really cool opportunity for new Māori graduates just coming out of uni,” Pihema says.

GoveTechTalent is a two-year programme that gives new graduates the opportunity to work over two years for three different government agencies, allowing them to gain skills, experience, and networks to allow flexibility when they graduate.

Pihema says it is really important to see Māori represented across government departments. "If you can see yourself there through someone else, then it really makes you want to apply yourself more and step your game up, and take on these roles and opportunities."

Big push planned

Although Pihema is a few years away from graduating, he is excited to see his fellow students apply for the programme.

He says, "I can see a lot of people who I talked to at university coming up to the end of their degree, and these programmes being available to them. It's really exciting to see them trying to apply for these, and being successful,"

The applications are open now until the end of the month. Once students apply, they will go through the application process and if they are successful, mahi will start in February 2022.

“I would definitely like to see a lot more Māori and Pacifica students apply. We have a realy big push planned on it this year to try to raise those numbers and get more diversity in our government,”  Pihema says.