Youth Guarantee


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TEO eligibility

To be eligible to receive Youth Guarantee funding, a tertiary education organisation (TEO) must be:

  • an institute of technology and polytechnic (ITP)
  • a wānanga
  • a private training establishment (PTE), or
  • a state school or state integrated school that has been funded by the TEC for Youth Guarantee since 2011.

See Condition YG002.

To receive Youth Guarantee funding, an eligible TEO must have an Investment Plan approved by the TEC.  

Programme eligibility

To be eligible for funding, Youth Guarantee programmes must lead to the award of a qualification that:

  • is at levels 1, 2, or 3 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), including the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), or a National or New Zealand Certificate at levels 1, 2 or 3 
  • comprises part of a recognised pathway towards one or more vocational qualifications at level 4 on the NZQF
  • includes literacy and numeracy provision, and
  • aligns with a Youth Guarantee vocational pathway, if it is an NCEA qualification.

See Condition YG007.

Youth Guarantee programmes must:

  • be delivered:
    • at least one qualification that has a credit value of 60 credits or more, or
    • two or more qualifications (of at least 40 credits each) that have a combined credit value of 80 credits or more.

Youth Guarantee programmes should be delivered face-to-face (for example, not delivered via distance learning or in a work-based setting) by the funded TEO. Youth Guarantee programmes must also not be subcontracted unless the subcontracting has been approved by the TEC, see Condition YG020.  

For more information on Vocational Pathways and the list of standards in each pathway go to:

To deliver qualifications linked to levels 1 to 3 on the NZQF, TEOs must:

  • have delivery site approval, consent to assess (if the delivery is NCEA only, using one or more of the Vocational Pathways), programme approval and/or accreditation from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)
  • have TEC approval for all delivery sites, qualifications (including concurrent qualifications), and courses.

For more information about NZQA programme approval and accreditation please see the NZQA website. TEOs can also contact their NZQA Sector Relationship Manager for further information regarding the approvals process. 


Cap on level three provision

There is a cap on the amount of funding able to be allocated at level 3 on the NZQF. This limit is 30% of the current Youth Guarantee appropriation (just over 3000 EFTS). TEOs must not deliver more EFTS for qualifications at level 3 on the NZQF than is agreed in their Investment Plan. See Condition YG017

From 2016, TEOs must also not enrol a student into a Youth Guarantee programme if the student has already achieved a qualification at level 3 or above on the NZQF. See Condition YG026

Student eligibility

To be eligible for enrolment in a Youth Guarantee funded qualification (except where the student is enrolled at a school that is participating in the Ministry of Education's secondary-tertiary partnerships pilot programme), a student must:

  • be a domestic student (MoE website)
  • be studying at least 50% of a full-time, full-year enrolment
  • not be enrolled in a secondary school, and
  • either:
    • be 16 to 19 years of age at the time he or she commenced the Youth Guarantee programme, or
    • be 15 years of age at the time he or she commenced the programme and have an early leaving exemption from his or her school.

See Condition SDR001.

A student who meets the eligibility criteria may receive up to two EFTS of Youth Guarantee provision. See Condition YG010 and Condition YG012.

TEOs should give priority to students who are new to tertiary education. Where students have been previously enrolled in tertiary study, TEOs should seek to pathway those students into higher-level qualifications. This does not preclude other eligible students from enrolling in Youth Guarantee level 3 provision. It is intended to give priority to students who have not already achieved a qualification at level 2 and students who have previously completed a level 1 or 2 qualification through Youth Guarantee.

Students must not be simultaneously enrolled in school and a Youth Guarantee funded qualification. Students must not be enrolled in a Youth Guarantee funded qualification and also be enrolled in another TEC-funded programme at a time. This means that a student cannot be simultaneously enrolled in Youth Guarantee as well as a SAC-funded course, New Zealand Apprenticeship or Gateway programme.

A TEO must not enrol a student in more than 1 EFTS of Youth Guarantee provision in any calendar year. See Condition YG010 and Condition YG012.

This reflects the expected learning capability of students in the target group for Youth Guarantee and supports provision being directed towards students who have disengaged with education or have low prior achievement levels.

Students may be re-enrolled in Youth Guarantee, as long as they continue to meet the student eligibility criteria, and are enrolled in no more than 1 EFTS worth of learning per calendar year. 

Student loans and allowances

A TEO that provides Youth Guarantee programmes must not charge tuition fees or compulsory course costs to any student. See Condition YG013.

A Youth Guarantee student who is under 18 years old is not eligible for a Student Loan under the Student Loan Scheme. A student who is 18 or 19 years old, however, may be eligible to access parts of the Student Loan Scheme. As a TEO cannot charge tuition fees or compulsory course costs to any Youth Guarantee student, eligible students can only access course-related costs and living costs as part of the Student Loan Scheme.

Note: students who turn 18 while enrolled on Youth Guarantee funded qualification are not be eligible for course-related costs or living costs until their next enrolment.

TEOs must ensure that Youth Guarantee students understand they need to confirm their eligibility for a Student Loan or a Student Allowance with StudyLink as part of deciding to undertake study (using the tools on the StudyLink website). It is important that students make good study decisions based on all the relevant information. 


  1. For students to be able to access any part of the Student Loan or Student Allowances Schemes, the qualification(s) the student is enrolled on must meet the loan entry threshold (LET) and be approved in STEO by the TEC.
  2. TEOs must add the appropriate source of funding to the Verification of Study (VoS) to StudyLink. For all Youth Guarantee enrolments code 22 should be added to the VoS. This means that TEOs will no longer be required to use concurrent qualifications to indicate to StudyLink the type and age of students enrolled. Concurrent qualifications will only be used where a student is enrolled on multiple qualifications simultaneously and the full study load (EFTS value of the qualifications) needs to be advised to StudyLink.
  • Last changed: 8 March 2016
  • Last verified: 8 March 2016