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Over the April school holidays, 18 young people from across New Zealand embarked on an exciting adventure to Fiji as part of our 2019 Advanced Student Leaders Course. There they were joined by 17 local Fijian students for a week of unique leadership development in a practical, multicultural, and diverse setting.

Some of the highlights were:

  • A traditional Kava welcome ceremony

  • Daily group fitness activities

  • Confidence and communication workshops with Marrzipan Drama

  • Planting trees to help towards Fiji's climate change goal of 4 million trees in 4 years

  • Gathering trash on nearby Mosquito Island (36 bags in one day!)

  • Practical leadership and teamwork exercises, like building huts and rafts

  • ANZAC Day dawn service

  • A whole lot of singing!

Not only did it teach me to lead, but also understand people’s values better,
and how to put a plan into action.

It’s probably one of the best life experiences I’ve ever had.


Check out the pics and find out more in this article from our Founder and Chief Instructor, Jethro Gilbert. We'll be doing it all again next year, but numbers are strictly limited so if you want to be first to know, click below and we'll put you on our special mailing list.




With support from the Ministry of Social Development and Work and Income NZ, we're excited to now offer our LSV Graduate Programme in the Waikato region. The first intake will be next Monday, with 24 young people taking their next step towards sustainable employment and a bright future.

We brought two  staff members on board for this new adventure – Catherine O’Neill and Jeremy Murray – both locals and both very experienced working with young people. So far in their roles as Youth Employment Mentors they’ve connected with lots of different businesses, organisations, and service providers across the region to ensure that our rangatahi get the best opportunities available after they complete the programme. These have included Andrew King, Mayor of Hamilton (who kindly offered our young people a meet-and-greet plus tour of the council chambers), the fabulous team at WINZ and the Waikato Chamber of Commerce to name a few.

Help us help our rangatahi - if you’re part of the business community in Waikato and you’d be keen to employ some hardworking, fresh young blood from our LSV Graduate Programme, then let us know using the button below!

Snap ‘em up straight away – get them before anyone else comes to take them because if they can go through an LSV Programme, they’re definitely driven and motivated to succeed in their life.


Donovan Bickford, Advanced Training Centre



The concept for this programme was born from our relationship with the Forklift Association of New Zealand. Many employers in this Supply Chain Industry community were finding it difficult to recruit motivated young people with management potential, while we at Future Leaders recognised that there were a lot of talented, ambitious young people who would jump at the opportunity to develop a solid career pathway – and so the Supply Chain Industry Cadetship was born!

The programme aims to match the right young people with the right employers, so the preparation course involves the prospective employers as much as possible, with one-on-one interviews and presentations, while also giving the young people knowledge of the Supply Chain Industry and equipping them with practical self and team leadership skills, and even a forklift license. With an industry so broad, employers involved range from small regional logistics companies to large international organisations like Mainfreight.

On successful completion of the course, the young people walk away with a 2 year full-time employment contract, with ongoing support and career development from both employers and Future Leaders instructors, and employers have a dedicated and skilled employee. It’s a win-win situation!

Applications are closed for this year, but if you know any ambitious young people who are looking for their next step into employment, or employers who might be interested in hiring a cadet, chat to us about being part of our next intake.


Earlier this year we ran two full-day corporate leadership workshops for Spark at our training premise in Evans Bay, Wellington. The workshops were tailor-made to cater to two different teams within the company and covered both individual and team leadership, with a range of practical exercises linked to the company's strategic goals.

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Our Chief Instructor and Founder, Jethro Gilbert, took the teams through a range of self and team leadership principles, touching on the aspects of high-performing teams, championing change, the benefits of a positive mindset, maintaining agility in corporate environments, and practical implementations of all of these. In keeping with our unique army-inspired approach, the guest speaker/facilitator was Derek Sarney who talked about his learnings from his time as a leader within the New Zealand Police and Defence Force, including a focus on special operations, the “elite” mindset, and leading in high pressure situations. 

Reach your business goals sooner with a custom-built workshop. Let us know your requirements and we'll give you an obligation-free quote.

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During the first week of April, our Chief Instructor and Founder (Jethro Gilbert) and Team Leader (Jay Berwick) delivered a series of 5 leadership workshops across Te Waipounamu for 100 Young Enterprise Scheme participants.


  • Day 1: Southern Institute of Technology in Invercargill

  • Day 2: Ara Institute of Canterbury in Christchurch

  • Day 3: Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology in Nelson

  • Day 4: University of Otago in Dunedin

  • Day 5: South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce in Timaru


Guest speakers included previous YES alumni as well as the Deputy Leader of the National Party, Hon. Paula Bennett.

The Young Enterprise Scheme is one of the programmes run by Young Enterprise Trust, where students “unleash their inner entrepreneur” by setting up and running their own business. The course we ran was for the leaders (or CEOs) of these businesses, and focused on using military-influenced leadership and business development techniques in SMEs (small and medium enterprises). 

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Our newest team member, John Higginson, travelled from Wellington to the Hawke's Bay last week to deliver a business pitch workshop to participants in the Young Enterprise Scheme. John is an experienced training instructor with a background in leadership within the New Zealand Defence Force, and expertise in delivering knowledge in a practical and engaging way.

The training was held at the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) with around 120 students in attendance from schools across the Te Matau-a-Māui (Hawke’s Bay) region. Future Leaders hosted the day, with the aim of preparing students for their "Dragon's Den" pitch to local business leaders as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme.

 “Thanks so much for sending John…he was a breath of fresh air...the students from Hastings Boys High School even asked him to be their mentor.  His ease connecting with the students went very well and teachers have given me good feedback.”


Karla Lee, Hawke's Bay YES Co-Ordinator



We were privileged to be asked to assist the leaders of the NZ Indian Central Association in engaging with their younger members during their Annual General Meeting in Wellington last month. Our team of instructors led the delegates through a range of fun and engaging activities and practical outdoor challenges, demonstrating leadership skills, techniques and exercises all designed to encourage their young people to participate.

The team were especially excited to be presenting alongside Vanisa Dhiru, President of the National Council of Women of New Zealand. Her story was noted as one of the highlights, with her reference to the essential need to connect back to your heritage and making a pilgrimage to India to find those answers. Nga mihi nui Vanisa for your empowering words, and to all the NZ-born young leaders who participated. 

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Last month saw the completion of our first LSV Graduate Programme for the year, with 11 young leaders finishing the 6 week programme. 

During the course, they participated in a range of activities and exercises to develop their self and team leadership skills, including team building, goal setting, physical training, confidence and communication workshops, and lots more. Since then, there has been an 81% outcome rate for this intake, with 9 rangatahi going on to secure employment. They'll continue to be mentored and supported by our team over the next 6 months to ensure they're successful. Check out some of the programme highlights below!

Physical training 
Daily exercise helps our rangatahi maintain the fitness level and routine they developed during the LSV course, and keeps them healthy and full of energy.

Team building
These activities challenge our young graduates to work together and problem-solve collaboratively, and contribute to creating a feeling of kotahitanga (oneness, unity).


Goal setting
These sessions encourage our rangatahi to reflect on what's important to them, while helping to keep them focused and motivated to work towards a clear objective.

Team meals
Sharing kai gives our young people a chance to relax, socialise and build positive relationships, which helps to foster whanaungatanga (kinship, a sense of family connection).

Visit from the NZDF

This was a great opportunity for our LSV grads to learn about the many potential career pathways within the New Zealand Defence Force.


Communication and confidence classes

Molly from Marrzipan Drama hosted several workshops to help teach our grads self-confidence, public speaking and social skills through drama exercises. They loved it!

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