Employment Service in Schools - Information for schools and providers

Employment Service in Schools is a pilot service, run by the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Education. The service is delivered by providers based in Otago-Southland, Canterbury, Wellington, Waikato, and parts of Auckland. Schools and providers in these areas who offer this service can find information on how they'll support students getting this service.

This service will:

  • Support disabled young people to identify employment goals and seek training or employment opportunities that will help them achieve their long-term goals
  • Collaborate with the student's existing school and learning supports to make sure the student's educational and employment goals are aligned
  • Provide ongoing support to the student and their employer while the student is doing work experience.

This service is a pilot and will be available until 30 June 2022. After that, we’ll review the service to see how it’s going, check if we need to change things, or offer this in more locations.

Who can take part

Schools in Otago-Southland, Canterbury, Wellington, Waikato, and parts of Auckland have been given information about this service. Parents, whānau and schools are best placed to identify students who are most likely to benefit from the service. Schools should be guided by indicative numbers available for the pilot, and refer students who:

  • are in their last 2 years of school, and
  • face barriers to employment due to a disability or learning support need, including health or neurodiversity.

Students can get Employment Service in Schools at the same time as:

  • support from Mana Whaikaha or Enabling Good Lives, and
  • secondary-tertiary or work-place learning programmes such as Trades Academies and Gateway. Schools have discretion in how their Secondary-Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) funding is used.

You can find more information about these courses on the Youth Guarantee website:

There’s more information about who can get this service on the Employment Service in Schools page for students:

  • Information for schools

    Schools in Otago-Southland, Canterbury, Wellington, Waikato, and parts of Auckland can use the service, and students of these schools can apply for the service.

    Parents, whānau and schools are best placed to identify students who are most likely to benefit from the service. Students who want to join Employment Service in Schools can self-refer to this service, or you can refer them if you think the service is right for them. You can use the indicative numbers available for the pilot to guide your referrals.

    How to place someone in the service

    The student then needs to choose a provider in their area. You can discuss with the student and their parents/whānau which provider will be best for them. There's a list of the providers and their contact details on the Employment Service for Schools page for students:

    You then need to give the student a print-out of the referral form. This form must be completed by the student, their parent/caregiver, and yourself as a representative of the school.

    The referral form must be completed in full, so we can confirm the student meets the criteria for funding. Once the form is completed it needs to go to the student's chosen provider, who will forward this on to us.

    Once the form has been processed, the provider will contact the student, their whānau and yourself with the outcome, and arrange a meeting with the student.

  • Information for providers

    Selected providers in Otago-Southland, Canterbury, Wellington, Waikato, and parts of Auckland have already been chosen through tender to provide this service. If you're a provider and you have questions about Employment Service in Schools, you can email us at Employment_Service_in_Schools@msd.govt.nz

    How to place someone in the service

    Secondary students who wants to join Employment Service in Schools will self-refer to this service through their school. The school will give them a referral form, to be completed by the student, their parent/caregiver and school.

    The referral form must be completed in full, so we can confirm the student meets the criteria for funding.

    Once the form is completed, the student will give this to you, and you'll need to email this to us at Employment_Service_in_Schools@msd.govt.nz

    We'll process the referral form and let you know the outcome within two business days. Once you know the outcome, you can contact the student, their whānau and school representative to let them know the outcome and arrange a meeting.

    While you're providing Employment Service in Schools for the student, you'll need to:

    • provide on-going support to the student, and
    • complete progress reports to tell us how the student is doing - you'll need to send these to us every month.

Questions or concerns

If you have any questions or you’re interested in taking part, you can email us at Employment_Service_in_schools@msd.govt.nz

Other support available

The Employment Service in Schools will end when the student leaves school. There are other supports available when they leave.

Students can contact their school to talk about:

  • Transition Service, for students who are verified on the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) and are in their last year of school.
  • Enabling Good Lives, a partnership between the disability sector and government agencies aimed at long term transformation of how disabled people and families are supported to live everyday lives.
  • Mana Whaikaha, a prototype of a transformed disability support system which is funded by the New Zealand Government, through the Ministry of Health.
  • Vocational support through the school, such as career support, Gateway or Vocational Pathways.
  • Funding for students with very high needs, who are verified on the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme, and are leaving school.

We may also be able to help with: