Maori graduates get nod from cellphone carrier

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Vodafone announced today it will extend its existing graduate programme by allocating five places to Maori graduates. The company made the announcement at the Ka Tipu Te Pa Harakeke Developing the Nation’s Telecommunications Future hui, held by Nga Pu Waea, the National Maori RBI Working Group. Vodafone is working with Nga Pu Waea to ensure all New Zealanders benefit from the rural broadband initiative, including as many Maori communities as possible.

“We are committed to ensuring that we are well connected to the local community of which we are part. We will be working to ensure the proportion of Maori staff at Vodafone is at least in proportion to the ratio of the population as a whole, and this enhancement of our graduate programme is an important step to making that a reality.” said Michael Stanley, Director of Human Resources,

“In addition, we will also actively seek out and fast-track Maori leaders in our business, as we value Maori input as part and parcel of living and working in New Zealand. “

Vodafone’s graduate programme currently takes between 10 and 15 graduates into all areas of its business, and is a highly sought after programme. While Vodafone has always focused on ethnic and gender diversity, the expansion of the scheme will significantly build on the existing six percent of Vodafone’s workforce that identifies as Maori.

“By dedicating places in our programme to outstanding Maori graduates and promoting Maori in our business, we’re helping develop the leaders of tomorrow. This is another step towards matching the diversity of our own business with the diversity of the New Zealand population as a whole.”

Vodafone is a large employer, employing more than 1,800 people directly, and more than 2,500 if partners working on Vodafone projects are included.

“We are always looking to hire the best and brightest from the market, and already take between 10 and 15 outstanding graduates every year. This change to our graduate programme enhances our existing diversity hiring focus and ensures we can engage meaningfully with an important section of our customer base,” concludes Michael.\

This comes a day after 2degrees and Nga Pu Waea announced mentoring programmes, internships and a $50K scholarship, made available to Maori graduates.

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