Survey local businesses and they will tell you that work experience is top of the list when it comes to recruiting new staff. Kuranui College’s Gateway Programme not only offers students a work experience opportunity, but is the perfect introduction to the world of work.
Angus Connor spent 10 weeks with Fineline Construction 2001, which resulted in the Year 13 student obtaining a full-time apprenticeship with the Carterton-based builders.
Director of Fineline Construction 2001, Steve Cretney, was contacted earlier this year by Kuranui Vocational Pathways Coordinator, Sharon Dignan. “Sharon got in touch with me in early February, asking me to provide an opportunity for Angus to gain work experience through the programme for one day a week,” explained Cretney.
“I was very hesitant at first, not really knowing what the Gateway Programme was, but Sharon put me at ease and my existing employees were keen on the idea. Sharon then arranged for Angus to visit and meet my guys and I.
“The rest is history as they say, because Angus started with us the following week and began to gel with my guys right away. Unsurprisingly, Angus asked if he could increase his work experience to two days per week. I didn’t have any hesitation, especially after Angus had continued showing up during the school holidays, which was totally unexpected.”
After three months, Angus was rewarded with an apprenticeship in carpentry through apprenticeship provider BCITO. “It’s been good, learning how to do little bits and pieces around the place, but it’s been a big jump from learning things to actually doing things on your own,” said Connor.
He has had to buy his own tools and needs to complete his BCITO booklets with what he’s done each day. “It’s made me feel pretty good, like I am actually doing something, I really enjoy it. I like being hands-on, being outside and doing something physical.”
Sharon Dignan believes the Gateway Programme is important as it gives students the opportunity to sample and experience employment in an industry of interest to them. “They can explore a career option and make a decision as to whether this is something they may like to do in the future or not.
“Students benefit from the programme as they are introduced to the world of work, they can explore industry and they can achieve work-based industry standards through the programme. It is also a real point of difference on their Curriculum Vitae.
“I enjoy this part of my job at Kuranui as I like helping students and giving them the opportunity to discover the different vocational pathways in the workforce. It is great to see a spark resonate when they discover the right fit,” added Sharon.