A think-tank says too many young people are unemployed because schools and employers are not working together.
A New Zealand Institute report says many young people, mainly Maori and Pacific, are leaving school early and not getting work because they are not qualified.
New Zealand has a higher proportion of youth unemployment than any other OECD country, with 45% of unemployed people aged 15 to 24.
Institute director Rick Boven says schools need to start encouraging pupils to think about work at a younger age and create more opportunities to meet prospective employers.
He says making pupils do their work online will keep them interested in learning and at school for longer.
That frees teachers to spend more time working with individual students or groups of students that may be having problems with their learning, he says.
Youth jobless rising around world
The New Zealand report comes as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) says youth unemployment has continued to rise around the globe.
Positive economic forecasts had led the ILO to predict that youth unemployment rates would fall in 2010 and 2011.
However, the United Nations organisation says that the jobless rate amongst 15 to 24-year-olds remains at a record high of 13% worldwide - about 81 million people.