Education to Employment

Contestable fund for vocationally-focused events at school | kura and kāhui ako

The Government has established a contestable fund for schools, kura and kāhui ako to support vocationally-focused careers events in 2020 and in Terms 1 and 2 of 2021 (before 30 June 2021).

Funding grants provide schools with resourcing so Year 7-13 students and teachers have the opportunity to connect to and explore industry-specific careers. These connections will offer perspectives on vocational education and ‘earn while you learn’ pathways. 

It’s an opportunity to showcase trade and service industry careers to young people, families/whānau and educators.

Reporting and requirements

Selection process

Funding grants

Grants are valued at $3000 per school, with a maximum of 250 grants available.

The $3000 grant can be used for one single event or a series of smaller events.

If kāhui ako or a collection of schools choose to work together, funding can be combined for one event or programme. For example, three schools working together that all have students attending can receive $9000 for one event(s)


In each application we are looking for events that:

  • provide opportunities for young people or their teachers to connect to the world of work and explore industry-specific careers while in school’
  • will enhance the young person’s perspectives on vocational education and ‘earn while you learn’ pathways.
  • showcase trades and service industry careers to young people and their families and whanau and educators,
  • work with the wider community.

The event(s) should focus on ‘one or many’ of a range of strategically important sectors including construction and infrastructure, primary industries, engineering (including automotive), social and community services, tourism, retail and hospitality and the technology and creative sectors.

Building community partnerships

A key factor to the success of these event(s) will be for schools to work with their local community and form working partnerships. Schools, kura and kāhui ako need to demonstrate in their applications how they are working with some or many local iwi, hapu and whānau, local council, not for profits, local business and trades associations etc.

Types of events

Throughout New Zealand, schools, kura and kāhui ako have developed and held numerous education to employment events including:

  • SpeedMeets – speed dating style events where students have short interviews with employers
  • Localised trade festivals / gatherings
  • Trades events
  • Industry visits
  • Te Aō Māori Pathway events
  • Pacific PowerUp Trades programmes
  • Speakers in schools – where speakers talk about vocational pathways to students, families and educators
  • Trades pathways promotion.

We are open to receiving applications from schools, kura and kāhui ako for events like these or other events that meet the criteria noted above.

Application process

The contestable fund closes 29 November 2019.

Apply for the fund now (external link)

If you have any questions please email

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