Ministry of Education

Helping the education system produce work-ready students


The Ministry of Education’s Youth Guarantee team has launched a Vocational Pathways framework for secondary school students that aligns their studies with areas of business and industry which need well-qualified workers.

The opportunity to create a change to the school curriculum enabled Silvereye to help accelerate this positive government education programme. This was a stated aim of the Ministry as part of the Government’s Better Public Service target delivery.

Vocational Pathways enables secondary school students to bundle their subjects around one of five industries or sectors, and the specialised subject knowledge they require. That prepares the students to leave school with Level 2 qualifications ready to enter the workforce in a field of their choosing.

By creating a Communications Plan that enabled publication of the students’ and employers’ stories of training and success, the programme was positioned to receive positive publicity with the audience that mattered most — the local businesses and prospective employers of the programme’s graduates.



To raise the profile of the Vocational Pathways among employers, teachers and students, we produced stories of the programme in action. They demonstrate the refreshed thinking about vocational training that the Ministry’s new strategic focus has enabled. Media were offered the opportunity to broadcast those stories through their channels and publications and releases found a good response.

By mobilising the cooperation between related agencies, schools, employers and training organisations, the stories of Vocational Pathways in action were communicated by local and regional media. A relationship formed between the Ministry and a rural publishing company would inform 500 schools about the opportunities created by Vocational Pathways.


Stories of student successes in making the journey from classroom learning, through job training into productive work demonstrated the success of the programme. Silvereye’s positive work with media resulted in recognition of Vocational Pathways being better understood within schools, trades academies and in industry throughout New Zealand.

The scheme’s transformational role is enhancing the value of NCEA for New Zealand by encouraging schools to move towards a curriculum focused on employability and skills. This is an immeasurable investment in the future of New Zealand education, industry and productivity.

The programme’s value was recognised when it won the Government Partnerships category of the AUT Business Excellence Awards, creating a rush of interest and a rethink of national education curriculum priorities.