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5.2  Approach and data

IDI data on the services people access is limited. Employment and education are two areas where a lot of data on government-funded services is available, but not all services are included. In many cases government agencies, such as the Ministry of Education, do not collect information about which individuals access which services. For example, schools may have access to a number of different services to meet the needs of a particular child. Some of this service information is not provided to the Ministry and cannot be presented in Insights. Insights does not present information where services are not funded by government.

Education services

A number of education services are presented in the Insights tool. The data varies in quality and coverage, and for many other services participation is not captured at an individual level.

Participation information for 6 to 14-year-olds is presented for the following services:

  • Correspondence School - Students who study by correspondence at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Correspondence school) instead of attending a physical school.[8]
  • Interim Response Fund - A fund that is available to keep students engaged in learning following a significantly challenging behavioural event. It gives funding for a short term response while a more comprehensive plan is developed.[9]
  • Reading Recovery - An early intervention for students making limited progress in reading and writing after their first year at school.[10]
  • Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour - RTLB teachers are funded to work with teachers and schools to find solutions to support students in Years 1-10 with learning and/or behaviour difficulties.[11]
  • Special education services - Children can access different special education services. Services include communication, behaviour, and early intervention services, the Ongoing and Reviewable Resourcing Scheme (ORRS)[12], High Health, and where a child attends secondary school over age 19, or primary school over age 14.
  • Truancy (Non-Attendance) - a student may be referred to truancy services when they are enrolled at a school but don’t attend classes. This data is only available from 2013.
  • Truancy (Non-Enrolment) - a student is referred to truancy services when they leave a school but aren’t re-enrolled in another school within 20 school days.

Data is collected from different systems and is of varying quality. For example, Special Education service participation is identified by a school administrator where a child receives some form of Special Education assistance. In future this will be sourced directly from the Special Education database, which could improve the quality of the data collected. Correspondence school enrolments are of high quality, but the date when a young person leaves school may not be recorded, and as such, it may appear they have attended correspondence school more recently than they actually have.

Participation information for 15 to 19-year-olds is also presented for the following services focussed at secondary and tertiary-level students:

  • Youth Guarantee: Fees-Free - provides fees-free tertiary education for students aged 16-19 years who have no or low prior qualification achievement.[13]
  • Secondary-tertiary programmes - provide alternative learning options for secondary school students, such as through Trades Academies.
  • Gateway - The Gateway service provides year 11+ school students with the opportunity to access learning opportunities in the workplace.
  • Alternative education - 15 year old students who cannot settle into the school environment are offered an alternative education outside the school.
  • Industry Training - Delivered to people in employment, helping support the development of skills that meet industry needs.
  • Secondary-Tertiary Programme - Provide vocational education opportunities for secondary school students, such as through Trades Academies.
  • Student Allowance - A weekly payment to help with living expenses while studying full-time. Eligibility is dependent on a person’s income, their parents’ income, their living situation, and whether they have dependants.

While Insights provides some information on the extent to which at-risk youth access education services, it does not provide any information on the effectiveness of these services. Impact evaluations, such as the recent evaluation of the Youth Guarantee policy (see Earle 2016), which looks at both Fees-Free and Secondary-Tertiary programmes, are required to do this.

Employment services

The employment services included in Insights are funded by the Ministry of Social Development, and often delivered by Work and Income. The services data included in the IDI, and reported in Insights is not an exhaustive list of employment assistance available or offered by Work and Income to its clients. This will be improved over time. In most cases information is presented by type of service, instead of for individual services. The service types are:

  • Information services - This includes careers guidance advice and seminars.
  • Placement and matching services - Services that match people with jobs and help place them into job vacancies.
  • Skills training services - Business training and advice, payments for course fees, industry partnerships, job-focussed training, and literacy/numeracy training.
  • Wage subsidies - Payments to employers to incentivise them to hire, train, and retain disadvantaged jobseekers, including those with disabilities.
  • Other employment services - This includes a range of services, including those that build work confidence, involve people in work in the community or conservation work, grants to help setting up businesses, and job search assistance.
  • Youth Service: Youth Payment/Young Parent Payment - Youth Payment is available for young people aged 16 or 17 who are unable to be supported by their parents, while Young Parent Payment is available for 16 to 18 year old parents. Both payments are conditional on participation in Youth Service, a mentoring service for young people.
  • Youth Service: NEET or Youth Transition Service - Mentoring service for youth at risk of becoming NEET. Youth Transition Service was superseded by YS: NEET in mid-2012.

A list of the services included under each category is included in Appendix B. As with education services, Insights provides some information on the extent to which at-risk youth access employment services, but does not provide any information on the effectiveness of these services. See de Boer and Ku (forthcoming), McLeod et al (2016), and Dixon et al (2016) for more information on the effectiveness of employment services in New Zealand, as well as a more detailed description of the services.

Extent of service use by at-risk children and youth

At-risk children and youth are more likely to need support to achieve good outcomes. Different services are targeted in different ways to meeting these needs. While some services are offered to a broad group of young people, others are targeted at a specific high-needs group, or are in reaction to a poor outcome occurring (such as non-attendance at school). As such, we would expect the extent of the overlap between risk groups and services to vary by service. The overlap could vary across the country for a number of different reasons, including access issues, differing local area needs, or different choices about the use of alternative services.


  • [8] See for more information.
  • [9] See for more information.
  • [10] See for more information.
  • [11] See for more information.
  • [12] See for more information.
  • [13] See for more information on the Fees-Free programme, Secondary-Tertiary programmes, and Gateway. Note that Gateway participation is currently only available in the IDI up to 2014. More recent participation data will be added later in 2017.
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