Learner-Focused, Industry-Led, Government-Enabled

Secondary School Transitions and Pathways to VET and Employment

Looks to understand and seek evidence of the effectiveness of the ‘ecosystem’ between secondary school and the food and fibre sector.

This project will gather evidence to establish benchmarks on the current state effectiveness on what is working and what is not, what has changed in recent years, and the impact of a range of secondary-tertiary-work interface initiatives.

Research and investigation will be done to understand:

  • The performance and impact of current approved transitions and pathways programmes, products, and services employed by schools, kura and tertiary providers to encourage secondary students into further studies related to, or work in, the food and fibre sector.
  • Outcomes for secondary school ākonga studying horticulture and/or agriculture subjects who subsequently enrol in food and fibre related tertiary studies, or gain work in the food and fibre sector.
  • Secondary school ākonga earning wages in the food and fibre sector who subsequently enrol in food and fibre related tertiary studies or gain work in the food and fibre sector.
  • Year 11, 12 and 13 secondary school ākonga commencing tertiary studies with a specific focus on food and fibre including total duration of tertiary learning while still at school.

The evaluation phase of the project produced an interim report. Its findings are particularly relevant to current considerations for changes to NCEA and the senior secondary curriculum. The report solidifies the positive impact of offering New Zealand’s youth opportunities to delve into and engage with the food and fibre industry while still in school. It also emphasises the mutual advantages when schools and employers work in partnership.

The evidence and findings will now be used to inform the next two phases of the research project, including stakeholder engagement with employers and industry representatives. These phases will focus on policy analysis and a future-focussed outlook at opportunities and how current policy and operational settings could be more effectively applied at the secondary to tertiary to employment connection.

The next phases are expected to be delivered mid-2024, which will include specific consideration of Mātauranga Māori elements.

Project Downloads

Industry groups

All People, Food & Fibre

Project status



Skills Group

Delivery date

July 2024


Fiona Windle , Portfolio Manager



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