Some of the members may remember the old Māori Trade Training schemes in the 70’s and 80’s, where you completed your apprenticeships with some of the most skilled chefs of the time, in a range of establishments. The work was hard, the money was way less, and for those that completed the qualification, they could finish with a 751 & 752 and if lucky, gain the 753 qualification. 10 years later, I would have been one of the last students that completed 751 & 752 in 1999, moved into the industry, and the rest is history.
Since moving from chef lecturing, I’ve found a new calling as ‘Kaiawhina Akonga’ or ‘Student Helper’ in the Raukura Māori Student Support Team at Whanganui & Manawatū UCOL. One of the roles I thoroughly enjoy, is supporting Māori and Pasifika students to achieving and completing their course and qualification.
In recent years, the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) have administered the Māori & Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) fund, which provides fees-free tertiary places for Māori and Pasifika learners aged between 16 and 40. The purpose of MPTT funding is to increase access for Māori and Pasifika learners to vocational and pre-employment training. This enables these learners to develop skills for sustainable employment and achieve better employment outcomes.
UCOL-MPTT and the NZChefs Central Branch have collaborated to provide opportunities and exposure to culinary production events for those studying Cookery and Bakery at UCOL. Two of the events held in the Central region have given MPTT students the opportunity to work alongside experienced chefs during the Branch Matariki Dinner- Brew Union held in May, and the Provenance Dinner held during the Chefs Conference in July.
We had recently celebrated student success at the Brew Union, Palmerston North with staff, whanau and friends. The branch also attracted 14 trainee and 1 associate member to the Association from Whanganui UCOL and Manawatū UCOL.
Damian Peeti, Central Branch.