WELLINGTON, Sept 5 - It would be for Year 12 and 13 students and every public secondary school would award it once a year.

The prize would come with $2000 to go towards supporting a student who goes into training.

"We know that only one in 10 go straight from school into trades training," Ardern said on Tuesday.

"Two-thirds of school leavers don't go to university - it's not the only option and we want to lift the profile of trades training."

Ardern said it would be the only award funded by the government and would go directly to schools.

Labour has costed the award at up to $1 million a year.