Friday 21st September 2018

Gateway 2018 is at its end - and more exciting things are to come!

Archie Calder replaces brake pads at Automotive Solutions under the watchful eye of his mentor
Archie Calder replaces brake pads at Automotive Solutions under the watchful eye of his mentor

The Gateway programme has finished the fourth year of operation with a number of successes across the board. The students involved in the programme have once again been of top quality, and the hard work and dedication that they have put into the programme shows just how eager they are to use it as a platform to get their name out into the workforce. The work placement is always an incredibly motivating part of the programme. As always, trades remain popular and this is stemming from the industrial boom we will see in Dunedin over the next five to ten years with the work on the new Dentistry facilities, the Dunedin Public Hospital rebuild and increased demand for housing at a national level.

The message we are receiving from construction businesses in our local area is that they want to see students coming into some of the lesser-known trades. Often young people will see building, plumbing and electrical as the main pillars of construction but there is great demand for young workers in trades such as plastering, brick and block laying and flooring. All of these construction trades are as important as each other - after all a brand new house will always need flooring. The demand is so great for these areas that the money is good and employment is almost guaranteed, and we endeavour to support students in exploring some of the options they may not be aware of. BCITO has played a huge part in this with their annual Trades Day event which allows students to see some of the construction trades in action. BCITO do an excellent job of providing a supportive link between schools and the construction industries, and we would like to thank them once again for their hard work and dedication to our Gateway programme.

Gateway 2019 will be a well-oiled machine as it heads into its fifth year at JMC. We will continue to work with Columba to support our sister school to provide Gateway opportunities to their students and look forward to having a Columba student in our Year 13 cohort again next year. Again we have filled all of our positions for the year and the demand remains high for a programme which offers pathways into industry-based training for our secondary students. To support the Gateway programme, Otago Polytechnic has been working alongside us this year to provide alternative courses for those students that want to pursue a career that doesn’t quite fit the Gateway pathway. They offer some amazing courses and practical programmes in a dual-enrollment scheme with schools and we are excited to be able to offer this again in 2019.

Students have completed their CVs, participated in the interview process, and investigated tenant rights and responsibilities in flatting situations as well as NCEA standards in their chosen industry. They have learned a lot about time management, communication and how to get along with colleagues. Most importantly they have learned about work ethic, something that is more important than ever in the workforce and our Gateway students have had the opportunity to demonstrate this even before they head out into the big wide world. Many of our Year 12s have chosen to continue with their secondary education in order to further their academic abilities before taking up employment or tertiary training. Some students have taken up apprenticeships and we would like to wish them well wholeheartedly as they begin their next adventure in life. For those returning, we look forward to exploring the working world further with you next year, and for those new to Gateway in 2019, we look forward to supporting you to develop the skills necessary for life beyond the gates of JMC. Thank you also to the businesses that support us through endless time and effort in teaching our students the tricks of the trade - the programme would not function so smoothly if it weren’t for you. 

Zach White sits proudly on top of the scaffolding at his Gateway placement 
Harry Russell takes a break from welding on Gateway
Zack Matthews cuts a pipe to size on his plumbing placement for Gateway
Archie Calder replaces brake pads at Automotive Solutions under the watchful eye of his mentor
Another hard day done - Will Burdon finishes for the day at Gateway