The Gateway programme is a government-funded work placement initiative for secondary school students, designed to strengthen the pathway from school into the workplace.
Year 11 to 13 students can take part in the Gateway programme, gaining new skills and knowledge through work experience in their local community.
The BCITO has developed a Carpentry Gateway Package for the programme, tailor-made for students interested in entering a career in construction. The package simulates, at school level, what actually happens when someone enters into an apprenticeship.
The Gateway programme, which the Tertiary Education Commission funds, provides employers in the industry with the opportunity to meet a potential source of new apprentices.
Offering part-time workplace experience and learning to students through the Gateway programme also allows employers to “evaluate” potential new employees to see whether they will fit into their team, in terms of their ability and attitude.
It is also a great chance to learn more about how the BCITO apprenticeship system works.
How the Gateway programme works
Students work on-site for one to two days a week during the school term and are equipped by their school with the resources they need (such as a basic tool kit and the theory and practical learning assessment package).
The school is responsible for the student’s health and safety, and must provide them with a kit of personal protective equipment (PPE) that they will need when working on-site.
The BCITO Carpentry Gateway package includes theory learning and practical application. The theory learning is done in the classroom and is supported by the on-site work experience.
The theory elements of the package are actual unit standards taken from the National Certificate in Carpentry, meaning students doing the 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.
Carpentry Gateway package students are offered the option of signing into a BCITO training agreement which means they will be treated much like a standard apprentice by the BCITO.
Monitoring and setting objectives
A BCITO training advisor will visit the Gateway student and employer up to three times a year, set objectives and monitor the student’s progress as they work towards their goals.
The Gateway programme is offered by around 340 secondary schools in New Zealand. The BCITO is able to put employers in touch with schools that need them to offer work placement.