Trades Academies funding

Trades Academies funding

Last updated 1 December 2017
Last updated 1 December 2017

Trades Academies funding supports trades and technology programmes for senior secondary school students to provide a transition between school and tertiary education.

Trades Academies are partnerships between schools, tertiary education organisations (TEOs) and employers. They aim to keep young New Zealanders engaged in education and training by creating a clear path between school and further education, training or employment. Closer alignment of schools, the tertiary education sector and industry helps to make the future workforce more responsive to local and national business and economic needs.

A Trades Academy can be led by a school or by a TEO.


Trades Academy programmes are expected to… They achieve this by… 
  • motivate students to keep learning
  • offer students more options for study and training
  • raise each student’s achievement of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) level 2 qualification
  • show students a clear path from education into work. 
  • developing flexible and integrated learning programmes which best meet the needs of students
  • providing effective pastoral care and co-ordination to suit the needs of individual students
  • keeping students engaged by offering them options that best suit their needs.  

Trades Academies are part of the Government’s Youth Guarantee initiative. The Trades Academy joint approach between schools, TEOs and employers is called a Secondary-Tertiary Programme (STP).  STPs are designed to transition students from school to tertiary education, and can include work experience. 

See also:

How a Trades Academy programme works

Trades Academy programmes are fees free and full time (25-30 hours per week). They combine both secondary and tertiary education, which can also include relevant work experience. The students are already enrolled, and continue to be enrolled, in secondary school.

Students achieve NCEA at level 2 (or 3), and also work towards a trades-related tertiary qualification on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) at level 1, 2, or 3.

Most commonly, a student undertakes one or two days of tertiary/trade-based learning each week, and is learning at secondary school for the remainder of the week.

Trades Academy programmes are for:

  • Māori and Pasifika students who are at risk of not achieving NCEA level 2 or equivalent, and
  • students who have not already achieved NCEA level 2 or equivalent.

Operational policy and guidelines 

The Ministry of Education has created Trades Academy Programme Operational Policy and Guidelines. The guidelines help TEOs and schools understand and meet our minimum Trades Academy programme expectations. They also explain eligibility requirements. 

Enrolment information for students

To find out how to enrol in a Trades Academy programme, talk to your school or contact a Trades Academy directly:

  • See below for a list of current Trades Academies.
  • See this map for Trades Academy locations.

Current Trades Academies

The following TEO-led Trades Academies (lead providers named in brackets) will operate in 2018:

  • School of Secondary-Tertiary Studies (Manukau Institute of Technology)
  • MIT Trades Academy (Manukau Institute of Technology)
  • Waikato Trades Academy (Waikato Institute of Technology)
  • Taranaki Trades Academy (Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki)
  • U-Skills Central Schools Trades Academy  (Universal College of Learning (UCOL))
  • Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti School’s Trades Academy (Eastern Institute of Technology)
  • Primary Industries Trades Academy (Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre)
  • Wellington Trades Academy (Wellington Institute of Technology) 
  • NZ Primary Industries Trades Academy (Primary ITO)
  • Canterbury Tertiary College (Ara Institute of Technology)
  • Land Based Trades Academy (National Trade Academy  –  Canterbury)
  • Otago Secondary-Tertiary College (Otago Polytechnic – Cromwell Campus)
  • Murihiku Trades Academy (Southland Institute of Technology)

You’ll find a full list of Trades Academies on the Government’s Education website.

For Trades Academies contact details, visit the Youth Guarantee website.

From 2019 an additional 1,060 places

The government has announced the DualPathways Pilot will end on 31 December 2018. An additional 1,060 funded places will be available to support Secondary-Tertiary Programme (STP)/Trades Academy delivery in 2019 and out-years instead. Read the the Minister's media statement.