Youth Guarantee Fund

Youth Guarantee Fund

Last updated 17 February 2020
Last updated 17 February 2020

Youth Guarantee initiatives improve the transition from school to work by providing a wider range of learning opportunities, making better use of the education network, and creating clear pathways from school to work and study.

The Youth Guarantee Fund is part of a wider Youth Guarantee  suite of initiatives that includes Vocational Pathways and Secondary-Tertiary Programmes (such as Trades Academies). These initiatives provide opportunities for students to achieve a minimum of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) level 2 or equivalent, to enable progression to higher levels of study, training or employment. More information on the wider Youth Guarantee programmes is available from the Ministry of Education or at


The Youth Guarantee Fund provides fees-free tertiary education for students aged 16-19 years who have no or low prior qualification achievement. Students may study towards:

  • NCEA level 1 and 2 aligned to the Vocational Pathways
  • another qualification at level 1 or 2 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), which is intended to enable students to progress to higher-level education or employment, or
  • a qualification at level 3 on the NZQF, particularly if the student:
    • has no or low (level 1) prior achievement before enrolling in Youth Guarantee, or
    • has achieved level 1 or 2 qualification(s) through Youth Guarantee and is progressing to a level 3 Youth Guarantee qualification during their two equivalent full-time student (EFTS) Youth Guarantee entitlement.

See Condition: Student eligibility under Use of YG Fund Funding for eligible students.

Key changes from January 2019 (summarised)

Change to equivalent full-time student (EFTS) definition for Youth Guarantee levels 1 and 2 qualifications

From 2019, we recognise 100 credits as a full-time, full-year workload for a student enrolled in a level 1 or 2 Youth Guarantee qualification (rather than 120 credits). Delivery towards level 1 and 2 qualifications will attract a funding premium payment of 20% after each SDR submission.

No system or reporting changes are required from this change. See Enrolment, Funding and payments, and Monitoring and reporting for more information.

Change to student eligibility funding condition (February 2019) Where a student is enrolled in level 1, 2 and/or level 3 qualifications, we will continue to fund up to 120 credits worth of delivery towards those qualifications in a calendar year, the same as in 2018.

You must not enroll a student in more than:

  • 1.2 EFTS (120 credits) of level 1 and/or 2 Youth Guarantee qualification provision in a calendar year; and
  • 1.0 EFTS (120 credits) of level 3 Youth Guarantee qualification provision in a calendar year.

For more information see: Student eligibility funding condition and 2019 Youth Guarantee changes

Also see Funding, and Funding calculation, on the Funding and payments page for more information.

Key changes from January 2018 (summarised)

Two EFTS entitlement to Youth Guarantee

From 2018, you must not enrol a student in Youth Guarantee if the student:

  • has already received two EFTS of Youth Guarantee provision; or
  • would exceed two EFTS worth of Youth Guarantee provision during the period of proposed enrolment.

See Condition: Student eligibility under Use of YG Fund Funding for eligible students.

Learning hours

We have clarified our requirements for entering learning hours information into the Services for Tertiary Education Organisations (STEO) learning hours fields. See Learning hours, under Duration, under Information about qualifications on the Qualifications and courses page.

Recognition of prior learning / prior achievement

We have better aligned our information with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s (NZQA’s) guidelines. See Recognition of learning / prior achievement on the Enrolment, and Funding and payments pages.


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For further information on Youth Guarantee go to:

Other resources include: