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Upskills wins Diversity Works Impact Award with Sarah Balfour

Upskills Making An Impact!


Upskills is so proud to be a winner at last night’s Diversity Awards in the Impact Category. The award acknowledges our mahi in the Project Ikuna space, changing lives through the Future Ready Money Confidence course delivered to Auckland’s Pasifika workforce.

Delivered in partnership with Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Project Ikuna aims to boost equity from a knowledge and skills perspective. It equips participants from Auckland’s Pacific workforce with the financial and digital literacy tools they need to thrive at work and beyond.

Participant and Delegat employee, Ngāupoko Tapoki says her whole team learnt a huge amount from the programme including savings knowledge.

“Thank you to your team – I used to take a loan out every time I go back home. This was the first time I went back home without getting a loan, I actually saved up for it and planned ahead. I now have dreams and goals and know how to save.”

In accepting the award Programme Manager at Upskills, Tafā Iakopo, acknowledged the employers and learners who have been so open to the learning experience.

“It is a real privilege to work alongside employers and their staff in such a meaningful way because equipping people with Money Confidence has a lasting impact.”

Pacific values embedded

Money Confidence is delivered with Pacific values throughout, making it meaningful and highly relevant for participants.  It links financial well-being to the Fonofale model of well-being. Taking into account the cultural considerations of Pacific culture as they relate to financial literacy.

“We know that financial knowledge about concepts, such as compound interest, have the power to change lives,” says Tafā.  “Often participants are unaware of how compound interest might work against them on a high interest hire purchase situation. We discuss this, and pull out the numeracy necessary to understand and empower people to make their own decisions about what is financially best for them and their families.  And we do this in a Pacific context.”

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Project Manager for Project Ikuna, Matt Padernal, explains why the work is so important.

“It is vital that we upskill our Pacific workers, enabling them to adapt to the changing nature of work and create a better employee experience,” Matt says. “These courses are designed to support our Pacific people to thrive in the workplace, move into higher-level jobs with their existing employers or be better placed to pursue further training or other employment if their current jobs end due to the changing nature of work. Not to mention, these courses give them skills and knowledge to apply at home with their Aiga.”

Impact Award Winner - Diversity Awards Night 2022

What next?

Project Ikuna is set to provide micro-credentials beyond the current Money Confidence and Life Online programmes with planned courses in leadership, wellbeing, planning for retirement and communication in the pipeline.

For employers looking to give something back to their staff, the Project Ikuna suite of microlearning is a powerful, fully funded course.  And the link to productivity and engagement is clear.

“Benefits for businesses include increased productivity, a more skilled and future-ready workforce, and a positive impact on our people’s resilience, capability, confidence and wellbeing, leading to improved staff retention and engagement. At the end of each course, our people will gain external accreditation, greater confidence, and more skills to utilise in everyday life,” says Matt.

The team at Delegat has definitely seen the benefits.

“When you hear the team speaking about their relationship with money before starting the programme and what they know now, you begin to realise how life-changing the knowledge picked up from the course has been,” says Delegat Winery Operations Manager Craig Lindsay.  “It is great to hear the graduates passing their newfound knowledge on to their families as well.”

Congratulations to all our employers and learners who have been early adopters of this work – this award belongs to all of you.

Watch Diversity Works NZ Video

Hear from Beatrice Clarke, Judging Panel Chair, on why Upskills won the Impact Award and from Upskills Programme Manager, Tafā Iakopo.

Upskills Ltd.

Address: 93 Church St, Onehunga, Auckland 1061
Free parking: 120 minutes, Gerrard Beeson Pl.
Phone: 09 622 3979