Youth in Emergency Services 

Youth in Emergency Services is a national programme run collaboratively with the Ministry of Youth Development and the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

About the Youth in Emergency Services programme

The Youth in Emergency Services programme provides a great opportunity to build the knowledge and skills of our young people to contribute to both emergency preparedness and response in New Zealand. These experiences will pay dividends both for the individuals involved and our wider communities.

The programme is designed to grow and strengthen young people’s connection to their community by encouraging them to engage with a range of emergency services.

Volunteer emergency services run the Youth in Emergency Services programme as an inspiration orientation for young people to volunteer in their community.

In June 2016, the Minister for Youth announced funding totalling $100,000 to support the continuation of the Youth in Emergency Services programme in 2016/2017. 

How does the Youth in Emergency Services programme work?

Young volunteer - YES programme

© Alexandra Youth in Emergency Services

The Youth in Emergency Services programme consists of two phases.  

  • phase one consists of a 35-40 hour Orientation Programme introducing participants to the work of each of the local participating emergency services
  • in phase two, participants are supported through a Volunteering Opportunity for a minimum of two months with their chosen emergency service.

How to apply?

Group of young people - YES programme

© Alexandra Youth in Emergency Services

Suitable participants will be young people (aged between 16-20 years) who are motivated, keen to learn, responsible and enjoy tackling new challenges.

Each community will recruit suitable candidates from their local schools and/or local social services agency.

Applications for the next programme opened 2 August 2016 and close at 5pm on 1 September 2016.

Experience from the Youth in Emergency Services programme participants



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Youth in Emergency Services programme - Real Story

Rotorua youth in emergency services

© Rotorua Youth in Emergency Services

Youth in Emergency Services was the big winner at the 2015 Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards, scooping the Supreme Award.

Community Liaison Advisor Julie Hill has been a member of the Youth in Emergency Services programme working party since 2013 and project-managed the 2015 Rotorua programme.

“This year the Youth in Emergency Services programme differed in that it was funded by Work and Income and was for Rotorua jobseekers aged 18-22 years”, she said. “It aimed to give 15 young people the opportunity to look at volunteering opportunities whilst gaining marketable employment skills”.

During the programme, the Youth in Emergency Services group engaged in additional work preparation and job search-related activities with their Work and Income case managers and an assigned work broker.

Rotorua emergency service personnel volunteered their own time to host two-hour Thursday evening orientations and four-hour Saturday morning trainings over four weeks. Following the orientation, participants attended an overnight camp where they put their learning into practice through emergency scenarios.

Participation was completely voluntary. “No one had to sign up or attend, but this group of jobseekers put themselves forward and each gave 100%” Julie said. “The changes we’ve seen in them is remarkable”.

“On the flipside, none of it could have happened without the support of Rotorua’s emergency service personnel and volunteers, or the Work and Income staff who gave up their time to support and mentor the participants”, Julie adds.

Since the programme ended in May 2015, six of the group are working, two are in full time study, four are volunteering and the remainder are working with a work broker.

The Youth in Emergency Services programme received a framed certificate, trophy, $1500 prize money and the chance to represent the district at the 2015 Trustpower National Community Awards in Dunedin in March 2015.

If you want to share your Youth in Emergency Services ‘real story', email us at mydinfo@myd.govt.nz