School-leavers would be issued with a certificate detailing their tardiness, attendance and attitude under a scheme called for by employers.
The Employers and Manufacturers Association says businesses are struggling with young people who leave school without the skills necessary for work.
"The present NCEA report issued to school leavers is simply not up to the job for helping employers choose among young job seekers," EMA chief executive Kim Campbell said.
"Businesses keep reporting young people are leaving school without adequate work readiness skills."
However, schools spoken to by the Herald do not see the need for such a scheme, with one saying such information is already a phone call away.
The business association has sent its "work readiness certificate" proposal to school principals and has included it as part of its Election Manifesto 2014.
It wants students to be issued with a new document that contains "meaningful assessment of the student's skills" and which employers can easily understand. The certificate should detail abilities in reading, writing, mathematics, on-time attendance and attitude, the association says.
"NCEA is all very well, but the fact is there are other skills needed in the workplace," Mr Campbell told the Herald. "We really have a shortage of trade skills."
Mr Campbell said the lobbying was in response to feedback from members, who said taking on young workers was too much of a stab in the dark.
"Do we know that they have an attendance record, have there been discipline problems at school?"
Yesterday David Hodge, principal of Rangitoto College, New Zealand's largest secondary school with 3000 students, dismissed the need for such a scheme. "The information that they want is readily available from the school. They either need to ask their applicants to provide it, or ... pick up the phone and ring the school."
Ready to work?
• Business association wants school-leavers issued with a certificate detailing their attendance, attitude and abilities in reading, writing and maths.
• The Employers and Manufacturers Association says businesses are finding many young people have left school without adequate skills for work.
• One school principal says information that would be included on a certificate is easily accessible through schools already.