Southland Youth Futures was established in 2014 to better connect young Southlanders to training and career opportunities across the wider primary sector and related industries. 

The programme brings together schools, employers, training providers, industry organisations and Government agencies to strengthen the pathway between education and employment and improve outcomes for young people in Southland. 

With Southland facing a projected workforce shortage, the programme helps to retain youth in Southland, and connect with those who are neither in education, employment or training, so that these people can fill the vacancies which will be created as Southland’s ageing workforce retires.

The programme connects with students by hosting employer talks in schools for Year 10 and 11 students to highlight the diversity of employment opportunities available in Southland's primary sector, and by coordinating workplace visits for Year 12 and 13 students, where they are able to experience a real working environment. 

Events are also held throughout the year to provide students with information about on-the-job training opportunities such as apprenticeships, cadetships and NZQA-approved ITO qualifications, and to build connections between students and potential employers. 

Invest in Youth 

The 'Invest in Youth' campaign challenges employers to endorse youth friendly-standards in their workplace. To further encourage this Southland Youth Futures and a network of employers developed an Employers Excellence Model for employers to aspire to when taking on young people. The model has encouraged many employers around the region to register as 'youth-friendly' and adapt their recruiting and employment practices to target Southland youth. 

Tangaroa Walker discusses the Southland Youth Futures Programme

    You can access the Southland Futures - regional economic development strategy, which provides direction for youth initiatives in Southland, here.. 

    For further information contact
    Allison Beckham - Venture Southland

    Allison Beckham

    Youth Futures Coordinator