The Gateway Programme
WHAT IS GATEWAY?
The Gateway programme started in 2001 and is set up and financed by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). The aim of the programme is to provide students with the opportunity to complete a work placement in a trade/vocation of their choosing and to allow them to complete both theory and practical industry/NZQA recognised unit standards. Ideally, the programme is about making the students as ‘work ready’ as possible in the trade/vocation of their choosing for a potential employer, usually the person/company that they are doing their work placement with. Year on year the number of students gaining employment/apprenticeships with companies remains very high (80% - 85%), this was even the case during the COVID outbreak.
Although the Gateway programme at PNBHS is open to all Year 12 and Year 13 students only 60. This restriction is due to funding from the TEC and as such a stringent selection process is undertaken (see ‘prerequisites’).
Gateway work placement employers (who tend to be future employers) not only value the programme at PNBHS but speak very highly of the calibre of the young men who they have on placement. This has resulted in a number of companies now employing PNBHS as the ‘feeder’ school for their future apprentices.
As previously mentioned, the Gateway programme is limited to 60 students. The criteria (that is non-negotiable) to get onto the course is as follows:
1. Complete and hand-in the application form by the due date/time
2. Attendance of 88% or above for the academic year when you are applying
3. Pastoral Record has no incidences on it that will inhibit your chances of being selected
4. Gain a minimum of a B+ grade average in my End of Year Report for attitude
5. Find / organise your own Work Placement prior to returning to school for Course Confirmation
6. Be working towards your driving licence
STRUCTURE OF THE GATEWAY COURSE
Gateway is a formal timetabled subject and counts as one of the choices selected by the Year 12 or year 13 student. As with all other lessons in the Senior School it takes place 8 times per cycle (4 lessons per week). However, unlike other subjects studied at PNBHS not all the time is spent in the classroom. As of Term 1, Week 5 the structure of the week/lessons is similar to the following;
1 x lesson (day) on work placement
- Year 12 students are restricted to one day per week however Year 13 students can do 2 days per week.
- There is no set day for work placement, the day selected is what fits in best with the employer.
3 x lessons in ‘classroom’
- When with Mr Johnson this includes working on trade/vocationally specific ‘paperwork’ (this can be hardcopy or electronic) or working on academic work from additional subjects.
- The ‘classroom’ also includes students away on practical courses (see below for list). These can be held at PNBHS or off site at industry specific training centres. All practical courses undertake by Gateway students are taught/assessed by industry qualified instructors.
This is a key requirement of the Gateway course and without it a student is not permitted to enter the programme. Students must find their own work placement, which is a non-paid position, prior to returning to school as a Year 12 or Year 13, placements are not permitted where a student will be working directly with an immediate family member.
The work placement commences Term 1, Week 5 and continues until Term 4, Week 2. However, before beginning the placement all Gateway students are
issued with paperwork of which the formal contract (between school (Mr Johnson), student and employer), which must be signed by all parties, is a major and significant part. Further, all Gateway students are issued a set of brand new personal protective equipment (PPE)* comprising safety boots, ear defenders, safety glasses and hi-viz vest. Specialist safety equipment for specific jobs is supplied by the employer themselves.
*Gateway students do NOT pay for this. Further, if they complete the Gateway course or gain employment/apprenticeship they get to keep this.
All work placements are formalised and timetabled, student simply receive a w for all their lessons on the day that they are out at work. Due to the very nature of being in the workplace, health and safety concerns are paramount and as such the contract sets out expectations and responsibilities from all parties concerned. All parties are responsible to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA 2015).
Year 12 students do 1 day per week while Year 13 students have the option to do either 1 or 2 days per week. There is no particular day of the week that the placement takes place, this is a negotiation between the student and the employer. When attending the work placement, it is important for the students to remember that they are counted as an ‘employee’ of that company and as such are expected to adhere to the rules and regulations that the company has.
All students regardless of their Gateway trade/vocation will do several practical courses to make them safer in their particular working environment as well as making them more ‘work ready’. The type of practical courses undertaken by students include;
- First Aid
- Risk Assessment and Hazard Identification
- Manual Handling
- Height Safety
- Confined Spaces
If funds allow additional courses can be permitted, in the past these have included;
- Heavy goods
- Electrical appliance
- Scissor lift
- Cherry picker
EXAMPLES OF TRADES/VOCATIONS THAT PNBHS GATEWAY STUDENTS HAVE UNDERTAKEN
Over the years students at PNBHS on the Gateway course have chosen to study/do their work placement in the following areas;
- Automotive – Petrol / Diesel / Auto Electrician
- Agriculture - sheep & beef / dairy
- Boat Building
- Drain Laying
- Electrician – Residential & Domestic / Power Supply
- Equine – all aspects
- Gas Fitting
- Sea Food
It is important to note that students can only
do the programme in the trade/vocation of their choice if a Gateway theory pack
from an Industry Training Organisation (ITO) is available. If students have questions about this they need
to speak to Mr Johnson.