Businesses from a largely Maori community in Bay of Plenty will put local rangatahi in their last year of high school into voluntary work - to prepare them for employment.
The scheme is being designed by Kawerau Industry Symbiosis, which represents a majority of the town's industries.
Up to 60 work experience opportunities are available, spanning from work in forestry, log processing and geothermal science, to a local cafe.
Project manager Su Cammell said the initiative is driven by businesses, who want to find potential employees.
She said they are keen on showing students job opportunities in their town, which could also lead to international careers.
Ms Cammell said it also provides rangatahi with an insight into a particular area of work that could help them make good choices in following tertiary education.
She said Symbiosis is working with schools to develop education credits as part of the scheme.
Ms Cammell said the programme is being advertised in schools.
Potential candidates, who are Year 13, will be interviewed by businesses in November, and work-experience will begin in March.
The voluntary six month working scheme is being offered to rangatahi who live in Kawerau, and attend the local high school, and it's also being offered to young people from Kawerau who attend secondary kura in Whakatane and Edgecumbe.