Employment service for secondary school students with a disability or health condition

Employment Service in Schools is for secondary school students who have a disability or health condition, including mental health condition or neurodiversity. This pilot service helps the students, their family or whānau, and school plan for their future and explore job and career opportunities.

Working with the Ministry of Education, we have contracted providers in Otago-Southland, Canterbury, Wellington, Waikato, and parts of Auckland. These providers are experts in preparing people for work and finding job opportunities. Their focus is on preparing students for employment through skill development and work experience or job trials.

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

You can take part in Employment Service in Schools if you:

  • have a disability or health condition, including a mental health condition or neurodiversity, which:
    • is likely to continue for six months or more, and
    • may mean you have trouble getting into or finding work

and you are:

  • a student aged 14 to 21 enrolled in secondary school or kura kaupapa Māori in New Zealand, and you plan to leave school in the next two years, and
  • living in Otago-Southland, Canterbury, Wellington, Waikato, or parts of Auckland, and
  • a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.

You don't need to be getting a benefit to use Employment Service in Schools.

You won't be able to take part in the service if you:

  • can get funding from ACC to transition from school, or
  • are currently getting funding from us through Transition Services.

If you're already getting help through our Transition Service, and would like to move to Employment Service in Schools, please email us at Employment_in_Schools@msd.govt.nz.

If you're not living in an area with Employment Service in Schools

We'd like to hear from you so we know where else people would like this service. You can email us at Employment_in_Schools@msd.govt.nz and tell us where in New Zealand you are. There's also information about other support available at the bottom of this page.

What you can get

With Employment Service in Schools, you’ll work with a provider in your area to get ready for when you leave school and go into a job or training for a job. Our providers are experts in preparing people for work and finding job opportunities.

You'll get help with things like:

  • identifying what types of jobs you could do when you leave school
  • finding information to help you make decisions
  • finding out what job of type of work you would like
  • creating your CV
  • getting ready for interviews
  • work experience
  • getting a part-time job while you're at school.

Our providers specialise in helping people who have a disability or health condition, including a mental health condition or neurodiversity. They'll work with you, your family or whānau, school and other networks to help you plan your future.

This service is available until 30 June 2022.

How to apply

Talk to your teacher, your teaching support, or your careers advisor about Employment Service in Schools. They'll let you know which providers are in your area, and help you and your family or whānau choose the right one.

You'll need to complete the form (linked below) to apply, and get your parents/whānau, your school and the provider you've chosen to fill in the sections marked for them.

Once you’ve completed this form give it to the provider you’ve chosen. There are several providers available in each region. You and your family or whānau can choose the provider you want to work with.

What happens next

We'll process your application, this usually takes 2-3 working days. Your provider will tell you if your application is accepted or not.

If your application is accepted, your provider will contact you to organise a meeting. This will be with you and your parents or whānau. You'll work together to find out what kind of employment future you'd like, and what needs to happen for this.

You'll get Employment Service in Schools until you leave school or when the pilot ends (30 June 2022), even if you start a job while you're still at school.

Other support available

There’s other support available if you’re not able to get Employment Service in Schools, or if you were getting this and it’s now finished.

You can contact your school about these:

  • 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 your 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 you with: