Our Story

SmartNZ is the national brand of Smart Waikato Trust initiatives which are developed, implemented and tested in Waikato before being offered to the rest of the country.

SmartNZ has the purpose to empower youth and employers through real education to employment pathways. We do this by partnering with iwi, business, education and government agencies to deliver a range of practical, effective and innovative initiatives that better support young people transitioning from education to employment.

Smart NZ offers regions and stakeholders, such as local and central government, economic development associations, employers and educators, a proven way to empower young people through real education and employment pathways.

SmartNZ is best known for Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP) and endorseMe® Employability Record.

Why we do what we do

The objectives for which Smart Waikato Trust was established are:

  • To empower all people, and in particular youth, through real education to employment pathways, via projects and fund-raising activities.
  • To build purposeful, sustainable partnerships with community, iwi, central and local Government, educators and employers
  • To facilitate connections to enable successful youth transitions to sustainable employment
  • To recognise and respond to the specific needs of Māori and other communities
  • To promote access to resources, support structures and workplace opportunities for educators, students, employers and unemployed or underemployed people
  • To help students and parents make more informed career path choices based on the current and future needs of the employment market
  • To foster innovation, enterprise, skills enhancement and work readiness

Our Theory of Change

If New Zealand rangatahi receive relevant education, careers and transitions experiences, and are connected to employers who support them with learning opportunities, they are more likely to progress to decent jobs and incomes, leading to greater health, wealth and wellbeing for themselves, their whānau and their communities.

Our Theory of Change aligns with Sustainable Development Goals 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth, 4 – Quality Education and 10 – Reduced Inequalities.

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