Programme is gateway to building career

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William Clinton-Baker’s favourite class at Wairarapa’s Rathkeale College was woodwork, so he is following a natural progression by working on much larger scale construction projects as a building apprentice. 

 

William’s fi rst step into the building industry was through the Gateway programme. Gateway is a government initiative that links academic and workplace learning by providing young people with the opportunity to test drive a career in an industry that interests them while they are still at school. 

 

Gateway students are placed in a wide variety of industries, including hospitality, automotive, retail, tourism, engineering and building. Gateway relies on engaged employers who are willing to put their hands up and provide enthusiastic, keen young people with a job in their specialist industry. 

 

Through Gateway, students can gain unit standards towards their National Certifi cates for Educational Achievement (NCEA). After his final year at Rathkeale College, William spent a year travelling through Europe. 

 

On his return, he was employed by Rigg-Zschokke Ltd, and registered into a training agreement with the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO). He loves his job and says the best aspects include the wide variety of work and working outdoors in the fresh Wairarapa air. 

 

“I’m really passionate about building, and enjoy coming to work every day. It’s great getting paid to do something that you love!” he says. William also plays rugby for the Wairarapa-Bush under 20 team during winter, and likes cycling in the summer months. 

 

Rigg-Zschokke Ltd contracts manager David Hargood says his company is a long time supporter of the Gateway initiative in the Wairarapa area. “I am a huge believer in the on-the-job training that Gateway provides. 

 

There is no better way to learn than to just get involved, get your hands dirty and have a go,” he says. When he finishes his building apprenticeship in three and a half years’ time, William will have developed skills that are in demand and highly transferable. 

 

“This is another aspect of a building apprenticeship that is so valuable,” William says. Mr Hargood says William is a dedicated worker who has a bright future ahead of him in the building industry. 

 

“He is hard working and reliable with a positive attitude, all the qualities we look for in an apprentice.” If you are interested in finding out more about becoming involved with the Gateway programme, contact the BCITO on 0800 422 486 or visit the Skill NZ web site at www.skillnz.org.nz.