Jock Hamilton could be hanging out with his 16-year-old mates in the April school holidays but instead the chance to learn how to write a CV, buy shares and build a deck has him signed up for a programme called "Life101".
The keen sportsman and Auckland Grammar School student says three days of tutorials in the "worldly skills" of life beyond schooldays is what he needs.
"I think creating a CV would be great for when getting out of school. It's quite hard at the moment to get jobs and you need to get a head start on all the others," he said.
"I did sporting or fun activities in previous holidays but this is new to me and will help me find a pathway to what I want to do, which is business."
The three-day programme is a full-on 8am to 5pm, which Jock says is not too far away from the demands of his winter timetable playing hockey during the week and being an Auckland rugby referee for Saturday fourth and fifth-grade games.
Refereeing has taught him some life skills: "Those boys are getting bigger and you have to be confident in your decisions and blow the whistle hard."
The Life101 programme was launched by Nick Carroll and Phil Moon, who arranged tuition by specialists in different aspects of life and financial skills.
"The course is designed to complement curriculum schooling with real-life learning that sets young people up to take a positive step into a career or further study," said Mr Carroll.
The idea has struck a chord with parents.
Forty students have filled places in two of the four courses they are holding at Takapuna Boating Club, despite the $325 "early bird" fee.
The entrepreneurs plan more workshops for the July holidays.
Their workshop covers personal budgeting, saving money, the basics of business and investing in property and shares, personality profiles, self-defence, basic mechanics and DIY home renovations, general health and fitness and flatting "dos and don'ts" and basic recipes for flatting.
"Phil and I were constantly questioning the practical applications of subjects like algebra and Shakespeare when we were at school."
They decided that "knowing how to invest in a rental property, secure your first mortgage, or buy and sell shares would have been more valuable to us when we were about to leave home," said Mr Carroll.
"Knowing how to cook a spag-bol or build a deck would have been useful."
Students will get a reference book to take home at each of the 12 workshop sessions.
Each student will receive tips on handling a job interview and will leave with a completed CV for use in part-time job applications and adaptable for interviews after study.
The session on career directions lets students focus on where they would like to be in 10 to 30 years and the steps and areas of study required.