The BCITO has recently introduced a tailor made Carpentry Gateway package for students interested in pursuing a career in the construction industry.
Gateway is a government-funded secondary school programme designed to strengthen the pathway for students from school into the workplace. Year 11 to 13 students can take part in the programme to gain new skills and knowledge through work experience in their local community.
‘Real skills, real work, real life’
The BCITO Carpentry Gateway package is about “real skills, real work, real life”, simulating (at a school level) what actually happens when someone enters into an apprenticeship.
For employers, the programme builds links with their local community, as well as being an opportunity to meet a potential source of new apprentices.
Offering part-time workplace experience and learning through the programme allows employers to “evaluate” potential new employees to see whether they will fit within their team in terms of ability and attitude.
It is also a great chance to learn more about how the BCITO apprenticeship system works for those employers who don’t already have any experience with it.
Students will work onsite for one to two days a week during the school term, and will be equipped by their school with the resources they need (eg, a basic tool kit and the theory and practical learning assessment package).
Theory learning and practical application
The package includes both theory learning and practical application. The theory learning is done in the classroom and is supported by on-site work experience.
The theory elements of the programme are actual unit standards taken from the National Certificate in Carpentry, meaning students doing the Gateway package can get a head start on their apprenticeship.
A Gateway employer is required to mentor the student, provide the necessary practical experience as laid out in the package, and review and verify the entries they keep in their Record of Work.
Students on the programme are treated much like a standard apprentice by the BCITO. A BCITO training advisor will visit the student and employer up to three times per year, set objectives and monitor the student’s progress as they work towards their goals.
Employers who are interested in learning more or getting involved in the programme should get in touch with their local BCITO office on 0800 422 486.