Mount Aspiring College's successful Gateway Programme is going from strength to strength. Between 2007 and 2010 over 70 senior students have taken up the challenge of combining work based learning with their on-site academic programme.
Each year the students' 'next step' outcomes are improving with more transitioning directly into full-time work, apprenticeships and tertiary study.
At the end of 2009, five students were employed locally and three of them were employed by their Gateway company. Many others secured employment, apprenticeships, polytechnic and university places, assisted by the fact that they had received extensive work experience in their chosen industry or work area. The level of workbased skills and knowledge the students develop is very attractive to employers and tertiary providers. Several have stated that they want Gateway students for this very reason. They also find a Gateway student a 'less risky' option to take on as they have experienced the job and learning throughout the year, helping them make an informed 'next step' decision.
A huge thank you to the following employers who have given time and training, nudging and nurturing to help our students succeed.
Gateway supports students undertaking learning and assessment in the workplace. Schools are funded to co-ordinate this activity to ensure the educational and subsequent employment needs of students are met.
Structured workplace learning is a formalised learning arrangement set in an actual workplace for a sustained period of time, with clear understandings about the knowledge and skills to be attained, and the assessment of unit or achievement standards.
Students complete a work placement and have their learning in the workplace assessed against unit and/or achievement standards on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and integrated with their current programme of study.
Gateway integrates general education with workplace learning and assessment. Gateway builds on existing partnerships to develop new relationships among schools, Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) and employers. This approach dovetails with Modern Apprenticeships and the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) to provide further pathways and recognise a broader range of achievement.
Gateway provides senior school students with valuable learning and ‘pathwaying’ opportunities. For example, students can gain specific vocational skills leading to future employment and can benefit from making significant progress towards qualifications. All students can enhance their career management skills in a world where the roles of learner and worker continue to change.
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