Trades Academies

Trades academies aim to get young New Zealanders engaged in education and equip tomorrow’s workforce with relevant skills by linking with the wider industry training system.

On this page

Trades academies focus on delivering trades and technology programmes to secondary students based on partnerships between schools, tertiary institutions, industry training organisations and employers. Students in years 11 to 13, who are interested in a career in trades or technology are able to combine study at a trades academy with studies towards their National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and a nationally transferable tertiary qualification Level 1, 2 or 3. It is expected that students will have the opportunity to achieve an award in at least one of the Vocational Pathways for NCEA Level 2.

The purpose of a trades academy is to:

  • motivate more students to stay engaged in learning and training by providing them with a greater number of options for study 
  • provide students with clear pathways post-school by giving them a head start on training for vocational qualifications and smooth access to employment 
  • improve the responsiveness of schools to business and economic needs.

Government's expectations

A key priority for Government is to help students to remain engaged in education and achieve worthwhile qualifications. Trades academies will provide students with an integrated pathway into further education, training or employment through closer alignment of schools, the tertiary sector and industry.

A trades academy does this by:

  • delivering programmesto students in years 11-13 that
    • take account of local and national workforce needs 
    • are aligned to allow students to achieve secondary and tertiary qualifications.
  • ensuring that programmes have clear and relevant links to current Government strategies, especially the Tertiary Education Plan, Ka Hikitia, Pasifika Education Plan, Success for All (Special Education Needs)
  • engaging young people in education through
    • high quality teaching and learning programmes designed using the Vocational Pathways
    • the use of culturally responsive approaches and contexts
    • constructive and coherent career advice and guidance so that students and their parents can manage career development 
  • developing viable working partnerships between secondary schools, tertiary organisations, industry and iwi that promote education, welfare and safety of students.

Trades academies in 2015

The following Trades Academies (including lead providers) will be in operation in 2015:

  • Auckland West Vocational Academy (Massey High School)
  • Canterbury Tertiary College (Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology)
  • Central Lakes Trades Academy (Otago Polytechnic - Cromwell Campus)
  • Bay of Plenty Trades Academy (Trident High School)
  • Hawke's Bay / Tairāwhiti Trades Academy (Eastern Institute of Technology)
  • Huarahi Trades Academy (Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu)
  • Kelston Girls' Careers Academy (Kelston Girls' College)
  • Land Based Trades Academy (National Trade Academy - Canterbury)
  • Manurewa High School Trades Academy (Manurewa High School)
  • Top of the South Trades Academy (Nayland College)
  • NZ Primary Industries Trades Academy (Primary ITO)
  • Primary Industries Trades Academy (Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre)
  • School of Secondary Tertiary Studies (Manukau Institute of Technology)
  • MIT Trades Academy (Manukau Institute of Technology)
  • Southern Cross Campus Trades Academy (Southern Cross Campus)
  • Tai Tokerau Trades Academy (Tikipunga High School)
  • Tāmaki College Trades Academy (Tāmaki College)
  • Taranaki Trades Academy (Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki)
  • Taumarunui Trades Academy (Taumarunui High School)
  • U-Skills Central Schools Trades Academy (UCOL)
  • Waikato Trades Academy (Waikato Institute of Technology)
  • Wellington Trades Academy (Wellington Institute of Technology)
  • West Coast Trades Academy (Greymouth High School)

Trades Academy profiles can be found on the Youth Guarantee website.

The programme

Trades academies are secondary-tertiary programmes that provide a broad range of learning opportunities for senior secondary students, to ensure they stay engaged in education for longer.

The programme is delivered through partnerships developed between schools, tertiary and industry organisations.

The programme is full time (25-30 hours per week) for students already enrolled at school and:

  • consists of both secondary and tertiary elements
  • includes appropriate work experience where this forms part of the tertiary or secondary part of the programme.

Intended outcomes for students

The programme must lead to a worthwhile qualification for the students enrolled in the trades academy. This is a minimum of NCEA level 2. Students must also be working toward a trades-related nationally-transferrable tertiary qualification in Level 1, 2 or 3 as part of the programme. It is expected that students will have the opportunity to gain a Vocational Pathways Award for NCEA Level 2.

Governance

Changes in legislation enabled approved organisations to be formally recognised by the Minister of Education to deliver a trades academy secondary-tertiary programme. The programme must also be approved by the Secretary of Education.

Once a programme is recognised and approved, it will be co-ordinated and managed to ensure that overall provision is suitably arranged.

The trades academy can be governed by either a Lead Provider or a Provider Group which is responsible for the operation of the trades academy programme.

A lead provider can be a school or a tertiary provider.

A provider group can be a group of organisations jointly responsible and will include at least one school and one tertiary provider, but can include other organisations (such as an employer).

Enrolment

Each trades academy is responsible for selecting and enrolling students.

Students must be enrolled in a secondary school, and must participate full time in the programme to be eligible to enrol.

As programmes offered differ, entry requirements, application and interview processes (including selection criteria) will vary between each respective trades academy.

Trades academies are e xpected to develop coherent, integrated programmes made up of both school study and tertiary sturdy.

Students and their families should contact their school in the first instance if they are interested in enrolling in a trades academy programme. They can also contact a trades academy directly for further information.

Attendance

Each trades academy will be able to outline the attendance arrangements for each participating student. These arrangements will specify when the student must attend the school, the tertiary organisation and/or the work experience component of the programme.

If for any reason a student aged under 16 cannot continue with the programme, they must return to their school full-time.

Exclusions, expulsions and discipline

Existing provisions relating to schools continue to apply as the student is still enrolled at school.
A Tertiary provider can withdraw a student from the programme at any time following their normal processes. This must occur in consultation with the school which will apply its own processes to determine whether or not the student can return to school.

These arrangements will be negotiated with each provider and set out by the trades academy in their memorandum of understanding with participating schools and organisations.

Funding

The funding model for trades academies is based on a per-learner rate that is provided to schools and tertiary education providers on the basis of the proportion of the programme the learner spends in each.

Principles and methodology

The funding arrangements will:

  • Enable funding to follow learners
  • provide schools and tertiary education providers with the flexibility required to deliver innovative secondary-tertiary programmes
  • provide for a fees free education, however students do not qualify for student loans, allowances or course-related costs 
  • minimise double-funding – providers are funded for the provision they deliver 
  • reflect the principles of partnership and collaboration – providers need to work together to contribute specialist expertise and resources
  • The funding model includes:
  • $9,500 for general teaching and learning. This will be divided between schools and the tertiary education providers to reflect the proportion of the study week spent at each provider.
  • $3,500 for trades delivery. This reflects the higher costs of delivering trades education subjects. Payment for these services will be made directly to the school or provider delivering these components of the programme on a pro-rated basis.
  • $1,250 per student for pastoral care and co-ordination. This will be paid to the lead provider.
  • Application-based transport funding. Lead providers of trades academies with high transport needs can apply to the Ministry of Education for recovery of these costs.

Schooling funding arrangements

Schools will be funded by the Ministry of Education.

Learners enrolled in a trades academy will not be counted on a school’s regular roll for resourcing purposes. Instead, schools will be funded on a pro rata basis for general teaching and learning, and any trades learning, provided at the school.

Schools will continue to calculate the actual FTEs as per the roll return guidelines.

Tertiary funding arrangements

Tertiary education providers will be funded by the Tertiary Education Commission.

Tertiary providers cannot claim any Student Achievement Component or Youth Guarantee funding for learners enrolled in STPs. Instead, tertiary education providers will be funded on a pro rata basis for general teaching and learning, and any trades learning, provided at the tertiary education provider.

More information

For more information please email trades.academy@education.govt.nz at the Ministry of Education or go to the Trades Academies page on the Youth Guarantee website.

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback