Working with Youth

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Our youth are our future

Skills is committed to working with youths from all walks of life to get them started on a career that works for them. We want to make sure every young person leaves school with a well-informed decision on which career path they want to take.


The Workchoice Trust was set up in 1994 to give senior high school students a real-world look at the careers available to them.

For more than 20 years, Workchoice has been offering its unique resources and events to empower young people to make great employment choices. Since 2015, Workchoice has been part of Skills. This partnership has allowed Workchoice to strengthen and further develop its programmes.

Workchoice’s flagship event is Workchoice Day. This is an annual event that informs, educates, and inspires senior school students through real-world workplace experiences and talks from motivational speakers.

Workchoice also offers Teachers Workchoice Day, which is a similar programme but aimed at school teachers. The programme equips teachers with the industry knowledge and connections to help their students make informed career choices.

Please visit the Workchoice website to find out more about Workchoice Days and what Workchoice does.


Gateway is a government initiative that helps high school students transition from school to work. The programme gives students a taste of the working world while they are at school, combining on-job experience with structured learning.

Skills is responsible for workplace training in more than 20 industries. Through Gateway, the schools and Skills together can build and maintain a pipeline of talented young people to keep these industries flourishing.

Gateway is perfect for senior high school students who are committed to taking the first steps into their career. It’s also a great opportunity for businesses to promote themselves to potential future staff, while educating them about the career options on offer.

Through the Gateway programme, Skills works with its industries to:

  • Support students into their industry of choice
  • Educate them about workplace training
  • Provide workplace materials and advice for both students and teachers
  • Keep industries buoyant with a pipeline of young and skilled talent

Are you a student, teacher, or business looking to find out more about Gateway? Get in touch with us today to learn how to get involved.

For more details please download the 2022 Teachers Manual.

Note: The Gateway Security programme is currently unavailable due to COVID-19 Red Alert settings. This Gateway programme requires students to do work experience at events, which is currently not feasible. We will review this situation as Alert Levels ease later in the year.

To enrol a student, download the 2022 Gateway Enrolment and Resource Purchase form. Please complete and send to:

If you are enrolling a plumbing student, please also complete the Trainee Limited Licence Application. You do not need to provide a photo nor pay for this license. Please complete and send to:

Are you an employer that’s interested in getting the next generation into the trades? It’s a great way to give opportunities to the next generation. You’ll also have a potential future employee in your business, where you can see how they fit with your business and existing employees. For more details download the 2021 Employer Brochure.

Got a Trade? Got it Made! is a joint initiative by Skills and seven other industry training organisations (ITOs).

Launched in 2014, Got a Trade? Got it Made! runs an annual national campaign to raise awareness of training and career opportunities in New Zealand’s trades and services. Combining events, exhibitions, workplace tours, school visits, and other activities, it’s a fun eye-opener for high school students considering their first steps in the workforce.

The highlight of the campaign each year is Got a Trade Week, a week-long celebration of trades and services careers that brings together the top young trainees from around the country., visit their website for more information: