Youth Pathways for High School Students

If you’re at secondary school and want to learn some practical, hands-on skills that will help you on your career pathway, you can learn at our Otago Secondary Tertiary College (OSTC).

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What is Otago Secondary Tertiary College?

Sometimes the learning environment at high school doesn’t suit everyone. A blend of high-school and applied learning can be a great option to keep students engaged in education.

Our youth pathways, via Otago Secondary Tertiary College (OSTC), offer high school students a chance to learn applied skills, keep earning NZQA credits, gain work related skills and experience the tertiary study environment.

What can I study? 

We have a range of OSTC programmes offered at both our Dunedin and Cromwell campuses.

The Otago Secondary Tertiary College (OSTC) delivers level 2 and 3 courses in some of the key trades in New Zealand. This vocational pathway is to ensure that you are building the right foundation skills and knowledge for the job you want in the future.

See below for a full list of programmes. 

How does this fit with high school study?

You’ll spend one or two days a week at OSTC and the rest of the week at school. The best part is you will gain NCEA credits while gaining real-world, practical experience in the industry of your choice. This will help you get on the right career path after you finish school.



In most instances, study at OSTC will be fully funded, with no cost to you or your secondary school. However, please note that OSTC is only funded for a limited number of places.  


Entry requirements

  • you must be a Year 11-13 secondary school student attending a high school anywhere in Otago, including students enrolled in Te Aho O Te Kura Pounamu correspondence school.  
  • you must be motivated, and regular attendance is required.  Students with too many absences will be withdrawn from their course.  
  • you must be keen to pursue a career pathway related to the programme
  • your school must support your application
  • ideally you should have achieved NCEA Level 1 including English and Maths or be working towards it (exceptions may be made in some circumstances).

How to apply

Talk to your school’s careers advisor and they will guide you through the application process. You can download application forms for either our Dunedin or Cromwell programmes below.

OSTC programmes by industry

Construction & Infrastructure
Manufacturing & Technology
Primary Industries
Social & Community Services

Contact us

If you want to know more about what we offer or you would like some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.