YEA Data Points

Māori are overrepresented in low-skill occupations

Recent statistics on employment show that Māori are generally overrepresented in low-skill occupations (Level 4 and 5 ANZSCO skill level), as shown in Figure 1.  This does not reflect the skills of Māori, rather ANZCO is a proxy of the skills required for an occupation.   

This data is of course, pre-COVID-19 and the landscape has changed somewhat.  While there is currently strong demand for skilled and qualified people in job vacancies, there is less demand in entry level and low-skilled jobs in sectors severely impacted by COVID-19, including hospitality, retail, and tourism.  Where these roles exist, they are more likely to be part-time and low-paid.  And these sectors are still precarious while borders remain closed and their economic future is uncertain.

Earlier research from BERL found a disproportionate number of rangatahi leave school after completing NCEA Level 2 to go on to Level 3 certificates at PTEs.  Unfortunately those that do, will earn significantly lower wages by age 25 than those rangatahi who stayed longer at school.  In general, Level 1-3 qualifications do not result in better employment outcomes or higher incomes, and keep rangatahi in low-skill, low-paid, and low-security roles, more likely to experience in-work poverty.  Finishing secondary school with NCEA Level 3 is much more likely to result in engagement with further education and study, and in stable employment.

 These skill-level patterns have persisted over the past decade and will not be turned around without targeted actions to support rangatahi.

This post was kindly contributed by Amanda Reid from BERL, a research-led consultancy that explores alternative ways of looking at organisations, initiatives, and challenges, providing advice and solutions informed by research and accumulated evidence.