Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson said the "starting-out'' wage would allow employees to pay eligible 16 to 19-year-olds no less than 80 per cent of the minimum wage, which is $13.50 per hour.
Ms Wilkinson said the introduction of the new wage, from April 1 next year, would help provide young New Zealanders with more opportunities to get into the workforce.
"The new starting-out wage will help some of our youngest and most inexperienced workers get a much-needed foot in the door, in what is currently a tight labour market.
"The starting-out wage was one of National's 2011 campaign promises, and designed to provide 16 to 19-year-olds with the opportunity to earn money, gain skills and get the work experience they need.''
Three groups will be eligible unless they are training or supervising others:
* 16 and 17-year-olds in their first six months of work with a new employer
* 18 and 19-year-olds entering the workforce after more than six months on benefit
* 16 to 19-year-old workers in a recognised industry training course involving at least 40 credits a year