Why employ young people

Employing young people is good for business and good for the community. The government offers help to employers to hire, train and progress young people in employment.

Young people have a lot to contribute and can play a role in helping you grow and develop an organisation. Here’s why:

  • It’s an investment in your future workforce and industry.
  • It’s a way to tap into talent in your community or region.
  • Young people are often technologically savvy and can bring fresh ideas.
  • Coaching develops the skills of your managers and senior staff.
  • Being involved in training is a way to keep up-to-date with developments in your industry.
  • Having young staff can be good for your reputation and for developing services and products for the youth market.

Financial support for employers

The government offers help to employers to hire, train and progress young people in employment. This includes the government’s industry training contribution of around $200 million to support in-work training.

Financial support includes:

  • Wage subsidies (Flexi-wage (external link) ) are available for employers to hire people on a benefit. The subsidy is paid for an agreed period up to 52 weeks. There can be help with training costs too.
  • Fee-free recruitment services. Work and Income (external link) will work with employers to find the right people from their client base for available jobs and develop a customised package of support services for the new employees.
  • Tuition subsides are paid by government for young people if enrolled at a tertiary education provider.
  • For industry training, the government pays a contribution through Industry Training Organisations for the cost of training provided to a trainee or apprentice.
  • Some funding can be paid direct to employers such as the Industry Training Direct Funding scheme.

Download the Finding Young Staff infographic [PDF 63KB] for information about how the government helps employers to hire, train and progress young people in employment.

 Tips for employers on finding the right person and help that's available [PDF 63KB]


Understanding skills and qualifications

Knowing about the New Zealand education system will help you to understand the knowledge and skills young people can bring to the workforce.

Key points to know:

  • There are lots of different ways for young people to gain skills and qualifications.
  • The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) provides a foundation for employment and further education. Read more about the skills and qualifications system (external link) .
  • Schools and tertiary institutions are working with employers and industry in new ways, so young people develop the skills that organisations and communities need. For example, some young people are learning trades and technology skills at Trades Academies (external link) while studying for NCEA.
  • Vocational Pathways (external link) help employers to easily identify when students have the key skills, competencies and qualifications relevant to their sector.
  • Employers often want new staff to have a drivers licence. Drive.govt.nz (external link) has resources to help young people to navigate the driver licence system and prepare for tests.
  • Employers look for young people to demonstrate soft skills. Read about the work-readiness skills (external link) employers are looking for.

Definition of youth

Youth are often defined as people 15 to 24 years. There isn’t a single definition of youth for employment and education programmes.

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Page last revised: 17 May 2018

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