Youth Employability

To make it possible for all 14-24-year-olds to gain the insight, confidence and skills to get work, keep work and create careers.

Our vision is every young person in New Zealand is employable.


  • We build customised programmes and resources to build employability skills in young people.
  • We support providers to deliver quality programmes.
  • We train people to be facilitators of a Youth Employability Programme (YEP), designed to help young people be work ready.
  • We encourage the business community to support youth employability through providing work experience opportunities and jobs.
  • We provide an online assessment recording tool.

At regional and national levels this is achieved by:

  • Building Partnerships: Through collaborative leadership, developing partnerships in every area of the youth employability eco-system
  • Focusing on sustainable growth, developing robust and scaleable organisational and programme delivery infrastructures
  • Supporting capability and capacity development in the youth employability eco-system
  • Providing quality assurance to ensure training, facilitation and programme delivery meet quality standards
  • Building programmes, services  and resources that are fit for purpose
  • Through advocacy, advocating for youth employability to become social and economic priorities.
  • Through equity promotion, aligning the youth employability agenda with the Treaty of Waitangi and the Code of Ethics - Ara Taiohi, and identifying and removing equity barriers to success.
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YEP helps 14 - 24 year-olds to gain the insight, confidence and skills to get work, keep work and create careers. 

They build on the seven key employability skills that employers say they want. 

  1. Positive attitude
  2. Willingness to learn
  3. Communication
  4. Thinking skills
  5. Teamwork
  6. Resilience
  7. Self-management

YEP can be customised for the particular needs of the young person involved, for instance the generic programme includes, 

  • 18 - 20 hours of skill-building workshops
  • 10 - 20 hours of community service
  • 80 hours of work experience with a local business
  • Skills based assessment

But we can work with you to make it fit-for-purpose.

The workshops are delivered by a skilled facilitator.  

Young people graduate with a 'Licence to Work' certificate. This shows employers that they are work-ready.

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YEP is modular and can be implemented in a wide range of youth education, training or service settings, such as:

  • Secondary schools and alternative education
  • Kura kaupapa and iwi organisations
  • Private training providers (PTEs)
  • Youth service providers
  • Community youth groups
  • Other


As of 1 February 2023, the Youth Employability Programme has transitioned to Youthtown. To find out more, please visit their website at

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What employers say #

'It's better than money' - former EMA chief executive Kim Campbell.

What young people say #

'YEP is everthing, actually" - Selwyn Vaka, graduate of the 2015 Licence to Work course at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate. 

More YEP stories ... #

Our Supporters #

COMET - Youth Employability