Secondary Tertiary Programmes

Secondary-Tertiary Programmes are a partnership between schools, tertiary providers, local communities, and employers to provide young people with better education and employment opportunities.

There is a growing demand for more skilled workers from New Zealand industries. Using Vocational Pathways, young people can gain the necessary foundation-level education and skills training that employers want. Secondary-Tertiary Programmes provide more relevant learning options for young people to remain in education and acquire the knowledge and skills local communities need.

Secondary-Tertiary Programmes/Trades academies locations and contact details can be found here -  STP-Map-February-2019.pdf

Trades Academies

Trades academies (Secondary-Tertiary Programmes) aim to engage young people in education and equip them with the vocational skills and training they need to gain future employment.

Trades academies are aligned with the Vocational Pathways and deliver trades, technology and industry-aligned programmes to secondary students. They are based on partnerships between schools, tertiary institutions, industry training organisations, and employers.

Students in years 11–13 who are interested in a career in the trades, technology or industry can use the Vocational Pathways to identify and plan their study options and develop clear pathways to vocational qualifications that are relevant in the workplace.

Trades Academies for Educators

What can students achieve in trades academies?

Students will achieve a minimum of NCEA Level 2, by combining study at a trades academy with studies towards their NCEA that leads to a nationally transferable tertiary qualification Levels 1, 2 or 3.

What are programme requirements for trade academies?

A trades academy programme is full time (25–30 hours per week) for students already enrolled at school and consists of learning in both secondary and tertiary settings. Appropriate work experience may also be part of the relevant secondary or tertiary programme.

A variety of programmes are currently in place across the trades academies. Most commonly students will undertake one or two days of tertiary/trade-based learning each week, with the remainder of the programme delivered at their secondary school. The school course component will involve relevant subject courses and other appropriate activities.

How do students enrol in a trades academy?

When students are interested in applying to participate in a trades academy, they should first contact their school or tertiary provider and/or trades academy directly for information about their programmes.

As different programmes are offered, entry requirements, application, and interview processes (including selection criteria) may vary between academies.

For more information about each of the established trades academies (Secondary-Tertiary Providers), refer to the document below which outlines areas of operation, website details and programme content overview.

Allocation of places in trades academies

2019 Secondary-Tertiary Programme/Trades Academies and DualPathways Pilot Provision

The government has confirmed that the two-year DualPathways Pilot (DPP) that commenced last year will finish at the end of 2018. An additional 1,060 funded places are available to support Secondary-Tertiary Programme (STP)/Trades Academy delivery from 2019 instead.

The additional places are available to all current STP/Trades Academy Lead Providers.

Funding for the additional STP/Trades Academy places has been transferred from funding used to support the DPP in 2018. The additional STP/Trades Academy places have been prioritised towards:

  • Level 3 STP/Trades Academy provision that may lead towards an industry qualification; and/or
  • STP/Trades Academy provision delivered by 2018 DPP providers (including providers not currently involved in a STP/Trades Academy). Note that this will necessitate your engagement with DPP providers prior to applying for additional Trades Academy places.

DPP providers and partner schools not currently in partnership with an existing STP/Trades Academy Lead Provider were encouraged to engage with other Lead Providers in the region. To assist partnership engagement, Ministry of Education and Tertiary Education Commission staff are available to facilitate and support new partnerships.

2019 allocations were confimed with Lead Providers in November 2018.

For more information regarding the additional STP/Trades Academy places, please contact

Trades academy (STP) programme summary 2018

Twenty-four Secondary-Tertiary Programmes/trades academies are operating a programme in 2018, with 6,350 (utilising 6,190 funded places) allocated student places from Northland to Southland. The current budget follows the further increases in 2016 as per the Ministers’ announcements in October 2015. For more details regarding each programme, please contact us.

Applications for funded places in 2018 were received from all 24 established secondary-tertiary providers, requesting more than 8,000 places in 2018. This demonstrates the growing demand for places. Places have been allocated based on several key criteria, in particular:

  • ability to deliver integrated learning programmes
  • positive impacts to youth guarantee networks, regions, and priority learners
  • student achievement performance (NCEA Level 2)
  • attendance rates and general compliance with funding agreement performance indicators
  • ability to fully utilise allocated funded places.

The places allocated to each secondary-tertiary provider in 2018 are also indicative allocations for 2019, subject to budget decisions and compliance with the requirements outlined in the 2018 funding agreement with each secondary-tertiary provider.

Secondary-tertiary provider/trades academy operational policy and guidelines

The Ministry has recently published a new version of the Secondary-Tertiary Provider/Trades Academy Programme operational policy and guidelines document. The document seeks to aid programme lead providers and participating schools ensure minimum programme expectations are clearly defined and to set out eligibility requirements in more detail.

The document will be expanded over time with the Trades Academy Advisory Group (TAAG) and wider STP/Trades Academy stakeholders also participating in the development of the operational policy.

STP-TA-Programme-Operational-Policy-and-Guidelines.pdf (published April 2019)

Guidance for participating schools

The following guidance documentation provides specific guidance for schools participating in STP/trades academies programmes. It outlines the STP funding model and its effects on schools’ staffing and other entitlements.

To assist schools in understanding STP/Trades Academy funding and roll return reporting, a high level presentation has been prepared to support senior leaders and operational staff. The presentation also outlines how other similar programmes such as the Dual Pathways Pilot (ends 2018) and the SAC funded '3+2' model works at an operational level (including roll return requirements). The guidance can be found via the links below:

For more information, contact us.

Trades Academy Advisory Group

The Trades Academy Advisory Group (TAAG) was established in 2014 to provide specialist advice to the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission in the development and refinement of STP/trades academy strategy and operational policy. Further information can be found in the terms of reference or by contacting the Ministry.

For more information, contact us.

Trades Academies for Students

Prospective students

If you are interested in enrolling in a trades academy (Secondary-Tertiary Programme), talk to your secondary school or with your regional trades academy.

Find a Trades Academy here

Examples of trades academies:

Top of the South Trades Academy – video

West Coast Trades Academy – video

For more information, contact us here

Youth Guarantee Partnerships

The Youth guarantee networks bring together education providers, the community, and employers to deliver new vocational learning opportunities for young people.

Using the Vocational Pathways, networks can develop new learning programmes to enable young people to gain the foundation learning skills valued by tertiary institutions and employers, and to achieve NCEA Level 2 or equivalent.

This enables all young people to have the opportunity to make successful transitions to further education, training and employment.

  • Up to 70 percent of young people do not go to university and need clear pathways to further learning and employment.
  • All young Māori and Pasifika students need to remain in learning at and beyond NCEA Level 2 or equivalent.
  • Education and local economies need to be better aligned to ensure relevant skills are being developed to meet the needs of employers.

The networks aim to provide all students with:

  • greater learning choices and opportunities, using the Vocational Pathways
  • relevant learning environments and programmes that meet their needs
  • learning programmes that are valued by employers
  • clear pathways to transition to further study or work.

Youth guarantee networks are developing around the country. If you are an education provider, employer, iwi, or stakeholder in your community and are committed to improving outcomes for your local young people, contact us to get involved.

Find a partnership near to you.