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Success stories keep Gateway open in colleges

Aug 16th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

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LOOKING AHEAD: Angela Ryan talks with Tanvi Gandhi about her future. Photo: Jennifer Gilchrist

Education shake-ups have marked the current government’s reign, but Gateway workplace transition has survived and Tanvi Gandhi is an example of its success in Porirua.

The Aotea College Year 13 student is on a Gateway placement at the Mana Education Centre and already has tertiary study planned for next year.

The Gateway Programme, helps the planning and transition from secondary school to the eventual workplace.

Angela Ryan, manager of the centre, has been impressed with Tanvi.

“Tanvi is self-motivated and demonstrates a strong work ethic and was more than willing to work at the centre during the holidays,” Angela says

The programme is so effective and popular at Aotea College that it is seen as a privilege to gain a place, with 105 students applying this year and 75 being accepted.

While National’s Youth Guarantee Scheme had replaced the former government’s Youth Apprenticeship programme, Gateway had survived and thrived according to Anne Taylor who administrates the programme at Aotea College.

She explained the Youth Guarantee scheme bypassed secondary schools and has gone straight to Polytechnics and private training institutions.

“The Gateways Programme is about getting students into apprenticeships as well, but the programme is designed to cater for a wider range of ability,” Mrs Taylor says.

Students on the programme are divided into three groups and spend a period a day in class working on activites such as team building and first aid training. Some students begin to work on papers specific to careers such as hairdressing.

For example, Tanvi has been applying her computer skills by working on Mana Education Centre accounts and helping to plan a conference for teachers in the April school holidays.

She plans to go to Whitireia Polytechnic next year to study for a Bachelor of IT.

Making Gateway work

Gateway staff members Anne Taylor and Sue Roberts work hard to maintain strong links with the Porirua business community and make class work relevant.

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GATEKEEPERS: Sue Roberts, left, and Anne Taylor at Aotea College. Photo: Jennifer Gilchrist

Mrs Taylor secures job placements while Mrs Roberts organises the class programme.

Mrs Taylor and Mrs Roberts maintain the business networks by attending cluster group meetings and business meetings regularly, which helped the programme through the recession.

“When the recession was in full flight employers were reluctant to take on Gateway students when they had to make some permanent staff redundant as well as contemplating a shorter working week for their staff,” Mrs Taylor says.

However, the situation has changed and they are regularly approached by employers from trades who are looking to recruit young people into their industry.

They also said there was a positive relationship between the college and Whitireia.

Mrs Taylor and Mrs Roberts have a easy working relationship, which dates back to the latter teaching the former at secondary school.

The Gateway Programme is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission.

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