Youth engagement

Jodi and Cooper 2019 NC
Do you want to engage local youths to support your brigade?

Over 300 brigades expressed a desire to engage local youth

Research shows a changing trend in volunteerism and Millennials' priorities

Youth can support a brigade's succession planning

Pathways to Fire and Emergency is the name of the UFBA series of programmes to help you engage youth in your area. This can help with succession, providing meaningful ways youth can be active with your brigade and provide opportunities for young people to learn more about volunteering and career opportunities in the sector.

Supporting a whole of childhood approach

Research undertaken at this time indicated the importance of multiple experiences throughout childhood to developing understanding of the role of a volunteer. To best suit a target audience of 4-16 year olds we adopted a 'whole of childhood approach'.

The previous concept of a 'youth cadet scheme' was not agile enough to meet either the needs of different brigades and their resources or the different motivations for different age groups. Currently we are trialing two options:

The Taitamariki Engagement Programme (7-11 year olds)

Out of school resource spread

Run as an out-of-school programme, primarily for 7-11 year olds. The Taitamariki programme provides a coordinator guide and set of 80+ activities that can be picked up and used by a volunteer with enthusiasm, but little or no experience of offering programmes for young people. 

Activities have been designed around a broader range of themes than just fire and emergency, to incorporate community service, bushcraft, first aid, safety and rescue and team building - essential skills that underpin personal resilience and a whole range of brigade and community roles.

Interested in this programme? This is currently at trial stage but if you would like to express your interest in this please contact

Fire and Emergency Services Gateway Programme (15-18 year olds)

Gateway is designed to support senior school students’ transition into the workforce by offering them workplace learning while at secondary school. This programme would provide access for the wide range of fire and emergency related career options.

The programme has been under development this year under the guidance of a working group of industry and education representatives. The programme will be offered by schools and supported by the wider fire services industry. The Gateway programme outline is shown above.

Gateway programme plan

Designed by members and educators

Throughout the year the Pathways to fire and emergency work has been guided by a Reference Group of 115 brigade representatives. A Governance Group, which includes representatives from schools, volunteers and Fire and Emergency staff, Chaired by Hon. Peter Dunne, has overseen all activities. Working groups have contributed directly to the outcomes of the project.

Our UFBA Pathways Coordinator will help brigades with the roll out of the scheme in their area.

We're proud that the UFBA can be at the heart of helping shape the next generation to respond to the challenges they will have to face as leaders of the future.

Pathways development and structure 2019