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New Gateway Offers Work-Based Learning

New Gateway Offers Work-Based Learning, Says Maharey

The Government's new Gateway programme will offer secondary students more structured work-based learning opportunities to better prepare them for the world of work, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Mr Maharey announced the details of the Government's new Gateway programme at the Real Life Learning Mayor's Education Forum, organised by the Taranaki Vocational Education Trust, in New Plymouth today. Gateway will build pathways from school to work, and to further education and training. Pilot programmes beginning in the 2001 school year will open up new work based vocational education and training opportunities for senior secondary school students in deciles 1 to 5 schools. The Government provided $4 million in the Budget to fund pilot programmes in 2001 and 2002.

"Gateway builds the links between schools and businesses and allows schools to offer work-based learning opportunities for their students.

"The programme will develop students' vocational skills while still at school. They will be able to get first hand experience of what it's like in the workforce and also to begin the qualifications needed in today's job market.

"Two models will be tested in the pilots. One will involve Skill New Zealand working directly with schools and assisting schools to find on-job placements for students and develop employer networks to support vocational education and training. The other model will involve contracts with a third party, such as a Polytechnic or an Industry Training Organisation, to work with schools to arrange for the delivery of work-based learning opportunities for students."

Steve Maharey said that the work-based learning would involve assessment for credits linked to the National Qualifications Framework, meaning that the learning students undertake in Gateway programmes will count towards nationally recognised qualifications.

"This is not a work-experience programme, nor is it a programme for under-achievers. It is a programme designed to assist schools to make learning relevant to the needs of all students, and to ensure that we have a smooth transition from school to work. My hope is that Gateway will open up opportunities for young people to transit through to options like Modern Apprenticeships.

"Schools will be contacted over the next 2 weeks and invited to register expressions of interest in running pilot Gateway programmes. Skill New Zealand and the Ministry of Education will be working jointly on the implementation of the programme", Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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