Youth Pathways

If you’re still at secondary school or you’re under 20 and want to learn some practical, hands-on skills that will help you get a job, you can start with our youth pathways. Explore the Youth Guarantee Scheme which offers free study.

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What are youth pathways?

Youth pathways are designed for high school students or those under 20 who want to gain practical skills for work. Which youth pathway suits you best will depend on where you are in your learning journey. 

If you have left school or feel that school isn’t for you, the Youth Guarantee Fees Scheme can support you while you study any of the courses funded by this scheme.

If you’re in high school, our Otago Secondary Tertiary College (Trades Academy) offers courses that you can do with your study. Alternatively, you can also gain actual work experience through the Gateway option.

Youth Guarantee Funding Scheme

The Youth Guarantee is a funding scheme for people 16–19 years old (or 15 if you’ve got an early leaving exemption letter). It means you can enrol in Level 2 or Level 3 programmes, cost-free.

We have various level 2 and 3 courses available under this scheme which can prepare you with practical skills for work. When you study any of the funded courses, the Youth Guarantee Fees Scheme covers your tuition fees and the material and equipment costs of your programme.

You will be eligible for funding if:

  • are a domestic student aged 16 to 19
  • are a domestic student aged 16 to 19
  • are 15 years old when you start the programme and you have an early leaving exemption from your school
  • don’t already have (or are not about to have) a Level 2 or Level 3 qualification in any subject

How to apply for a programme study under the Youth Guarantee scheme

There is not a separate Youth Guarantee application form. Please apply for this programme by using our standard Otago Polytechnic application form. To apply online, or to download a paper version, click the apply button at the top right hand corner of this page.

If you meet the criteria for Youth Guarantee funding you will be offered the funding if it is available. We will ask you to let us know within two weeks if you do not wish to take up the funding.  

If there is no Youth Guarantee funding available, we will send you a letter advising you of this. Along with this letter, you will receive an invoice, terms and conditions, a Studylink brochure and an equipment list advising what you will need to purchase before starting your programme. You have the option to withdraw at this stage, no problem.

Youth Guarantee qualifications

Study Prep & Pathways

This is a great option if you want to re-engage with study or want to experience studying at a polytechnic. You will develop your study skills (reading, writing, maths computing) and undertake community work, volunteering and/or practical learning.

Duration

17 Weeks

Delivery

On campus

Location

Dunedin

Career potential

Entry-level roles, Further tertiary study

Engineering

This qualification is designed for people who are wanting to begin a career in the industry. You will gain the generic and industry specific skills you need to work in a range of roles in automotive engineering. Upon successful completion, you will graduate as a work-ready, highly competent individual, all set to start your apprenticeship.

Duration

1 Year

Delivery

On campus

Location

Dunedin

Career potential

Mechanic Apprentice

Hair & Beauty, Study Prep & Pathways

A perfect start if you don’t meet the entry requirements to study our level 4 beauty therapy programme. You will gain the practical and foundational skills to meet the academic requirements.

Duration

17 Weeks

Delivery

On campus

Location

Dunedin

Career potential

Further tertiary study

Study Prep & Pathways

Start here if you want to improve your study skills and prepare for higher-level learning or employment.

Duration

17 Weeks

Delivery

On campus

Location

Dunedin

Career potential

Entry-level roles, Further tertiary study

Education & Culture, Education & Employability

Gain the core skills and knowledge you need to participate in the education and care of infants, toddlers and young children in entry-level carer roles in a range of early childhood settings. This hands-on qualification includes work placements to fully prepare you for a career in the real-world.

Duration

1 Year

Delivery

On campus

Location

Dunedin

Career potential

Child Care Worker, Childcare Support Worker, Home-based Carer, Nanny

Youth pathways for high school students

Youth pathways for high school students

Suitable for current high school students who want to get into trades and learn practical skill...

Need some advice?

If you’re not sure what to study and would like some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.