Businesses in the largely Maori community of Kawerau in eastern Bay of Plenty are driving a scheme to get local young people into work.
The plan's being tailored by the district council and several companies, in which they prepare to offer work experience to Year 13 students at the local Tarawera High School.
The students would work voluntarily for about six months with a company, such as forestry.
Kawerau Mayor Malcolm Campbell says it helps prepare young people for entering the workforce.
He says the scheme aims to give rangatahi a taste of working life, such as getting up for work and having the right attitude.
Mr Campbell says it will also teach them about what bosses are looking for from their employees.
The programme is expected to be launched possibly by the end of August.