Youth Employment

Smart Waikato’s Youth Employment Survey 2013 gives a comprehensive snapshot of the youth employment situation in our region.

280 employers from all sectors of the economy were surveyed in the last quarter of 2012 to gain an appreciation of the opportunities they offered 15 – 24 year olds in the workplace and in particular the barriers to employing youth 
and future employment intentions.

The results of this survey provided important information for the development of Smart Waikato’s work.

Click here to read Smart Waikato's Youth Employment Survey Report

The Waikato youth unemployment crisis mirrors the global situation (see below*). There is a decline in the quality of jobs available for young people, a detachment from the labour market and difficult transitions to decent work.

Smart Waikato is working to reduce the growing youth unemployment problem by creating awareness of the problem and encouraging employers to offer more work experience, jobs, apprenticeships and cadetships to our skilled and talented young people in the region. FutureForce Action Network and a suite of free resources has been developed to assist with this.

Smart Waikato's NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training)-to-Employment Model was recently submitted to central government in a bid for a Social Impact Bond pilot planned for New Zealand. The government will fund two pilots of projects designed to improve social outcomes.

Bids have entered an evaluation phase and short-listed applicants will be notified in July.

The model will underpin the work of the organisation moving forward.

Support for Smart Waikato's NEET-to-Employment Model:

Waikato tertiary providers, mayors and business and social organisations support Smart Waikato's NEET-to-Employment Model.

Read their letters of support here.

Support from the Honourable John Luxton.



Smart Waikato key in resolving Waikato labour market challenges

Smart Waikato's Youth Employment Survey

Alarm Bells Clanging over Youth Unemployment, Waikato Times, April 2013

Waikato Business News BEST Youth Initiative Article

Waikato Business News BEST Youth Intiative Article, September/October 2012


*The International Labour Conference, Geneva June 2012 Committee on Youth Employment was attended by 5000 delegates from 185 member countries. They reported:

• In 2012 close to 75 million young people worldwide are out of work, 4 million more than in 2007.

• Unless immediate action is taken the global community confronts the grim legacy of a lost generation

• Graduate employment has emerged as a key challenge

• The slow and insecure transition from school to work generates difficulty for integration into the labour market as a result of lack of experience

The World Committee recommended:

• Addressing mismatches between available jobs and skills of youth

• Encouraging more internships, apprenticeships and other work-experience schemes for youth.