The Youth Guarantee initiatives aim to better support learners to develop their own learning pathway towards future work and careers by providing:

  • Vocational Pathways that connect educational requirements to employment needs across six sectors of the economy

  • access to accurate and current  information about worthwhile qualifications that support progress along each  pathway

  • more choices of curriculum and ways to achieve NCEA Level 2 or equivalent industry qualifications

  • more choices of curriculum and ways to achieve NCEA Level 3 or equivalent industry qualifications

  • more targeted guidance to support choices and pathways to Level 4 and above qualifications and work opportunities

  • a range of  resources and tools to support this aim

Youth Guarantee initiatives address different aspects of the secondary-tertiary system that need support and improvement. The initiatives are Vocational Pathways, Achievement, Retention and Transition (ART 2013-2017), Secondary-Tertiary Programmes (STP) including Trades Academies, Fees-free, Secondary-Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) and Gateway.

Youth Guarantee connecting suite of tools and resources

The Youth Guarantee initiatives provide a set of tools and resources to address learner needs in the most appropriate ways.

  • Vocational Pathways provide a framework for learner engagement and progression
  • Achievement Retention Transition (ART 2013-17) provides strategies that support learners to achieve NCEA Level 2
  • Secondary-Tertiary Programmes (STPs) create new partnerships that deliver learning in ways that students can access a blend of learning from the school curriculum, industry training, and tertiary provision, which best supports their pathway.

Youth Guarantee funding streams

Fees-free, STAR and Gateway are funding streams that support learners and providers in different ways.

  • Fees-free is a tertiary funding stream that supports learners who have left school without NCEA Level 2 to access Level 2 learning in a tertiary environment without paying course fees. A smaller percentage of provision is available in Fees-free to help young people access Level 3 learning.
  • STAR is a component within schools’ operational funding that enables young people to access tertiary and industry-related learning beyond the standard school curriculum.
  • Gateway is a fund schools can access through the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) to provide young people with industry-based work experiences and placements.

Thoughtful use of these tools and resources can support all learners with coherent programmes of learning and qualifications that progress and support their chosen pathway.

A strong foundation

The Youth Guarantee Scheme provides foundation education choices to support young people to achieve NCEA Level 2 and progress to further education or participation in the workforce. Using the Vocational Pathways young people can access a wider range of learning opportunities to achieve qualifications at Levels 1-3 on the National Qualifications Framework, with a focus on achieving NCEA Level 2 and progressing through NCEA Level 3 or directly towards qualifications at Level 4 and above.

Regional partnerships

There are a range of regional partnerships around the country. Partnerships are typically made up of regional business groups, employers and community organisations working together with education providers and government agencies to improve connections for young people transitioning from school to regional employment opportunities. Using the Vocational Pathways as a framework, the partnerships develop learning to earning opportunities in regions to give students:

  • more choice about what and where to learn

  • work-related learning opportunities connected to regional and national employment needs

  • work experiences and work placements connected to regional and national employment needs

  • paid employment with ongoing training and develop a career path within an employment sector.

A range of Youth Guarantee initiatives such as Secondary-Tertiary Programmes (including Trades Academies), and Fees Free places provide learners with new opportunities to engage in higher education and vocational training, without having to pay fees.

The Youth Guarantee team consists of a National team, based in Wellington and secondary tertiary lead advisers located around the country.