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.