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Prestige provides opportunities for school students

Published: 19 June 2018

Prestige Limited, our head contractor for the East Coast/Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu/Taranaki regions, recently signed a Gateway Placement Agreement with Hastings Boys’ High School, in Hawke’s Bay.

The Gateway programme is administered by the Tertiary Education Commission and provides funding for participating secondary schools to give senior students access to workplace learning integrated with school learning. Students’ learning is assessed in the workplace and they can achieve credits towards their National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

The Gateway funding also allows the school to provide health and safety training and first aid certification before the placement starts, as well as any personal protective equipment the student needs.

Gateway is designed to support school students’ transition into the workforce by offering workplace learning while still at secondary school.

Hastings Boys’ High School year 12 student Jireh Ayre

Hastings Boys’ High School year 12 student Jireh Ayre

One of the year 12 students at Hastings Boys’ High School who is currently experiencing all the opportunities Gateway offers is Jireh Ayre.

Jireh had expressed an interest in trades training and has joined a Prestige Limited painting crew. His workplace supervisor says Jireh is switched on, is always keen and willing to work, and has quickly become a welcome addition.

Prestige HR Manager Erik Behringer says many will recall the work experience programmes of the past.

“Gateway is certainly a modern-day reincarnation of these, with the same goals and aspirations, but what is different from the past is a much greater emphasis on actual learning in the workplace,” Erik says.

Hastings Boys’ High School has up to 25 students a year in its Gateway programme. Following placement, the school purchases unit standards from other providers to ensure formal structured learning takes place back in the classroom.

The programme currently allows for students to have one day per week on placement. Hastings Boys’ High School requires participants to do a minimum of 10 weeks, with the first couple of weeks usually being a settling-in period.

Kaaran Crawford, Gateway Coordinator at the school, says that Hastings Boys’ High School values the partnership that’s been established with Prestige through their Gateway programme.

“By offering senior students work placements and practical, on-the-job training, we’re providing opportunities for apprenticeships and future employment for our young men,” Kaaran says.

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