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Careers Department

The Careers Department advises students on the options available to them after they leave school.  We also facilitate a range of vocational learning opportunities such as Gateway, STAR and Trades Academy courses.

During the year we organise a number of visits, courses and support to assist students to make decisions about their future learning and career options.  We are also able to help with applications for scholarships, accommodation and student loans.  Students are encouraged to attend open days, expos and careers events throughout the year.

The Careers room has a comprehensive range of university course booklets, polytechnic prospectuses and directories containing information about all courses available in New Zealand.  We also have a number of laptops that students can use for online research or job search.

The Careers Department is overseen by Mrs Jo Kelly and the Admin Assistant/Gateway Coordinator is Sophie Murray.


The Gateway programme is available to students in Years 12-13.  It supports career decision making through providing a combination of classroom learning and work-based learning experiences.  These give students an opportunity to learn in the real world in an industry or workplace appropriate to a students’ future career aims, interests and strengths.

Students best suited to participate in Gateway will be those who are:

  • interested in a career in a particular industry
  • work ready i.e. they display a high level of maturity, standard of behaviour, attitude and work ethic.
  • able to undertake individual learning programmes related to their work placement
  • able to undertake self-managed learning in the workplace
  • committed to a voluntary work placement

Gateway is a huge commitment.  Not only are students required to achieve 20 credits in their Gateway class and have to complete a work placement, but they also have to catch up on missed work from other subjects.  Most work placements are completed in Terms 2 and 3.


The Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) was established in 1996 with the intention of enabling secondary schools to facilitate their students’ smooth transition from schooling to further education or employment.  STAR provides funding from which we can offer programmes in non-conventional subjects for senior students (Years 11 to 13).  Te Kauwhata College uses its STAR funding to help resource senior subjects such as Automotive and Mechanical Engineering, BCATS, Hospitality, Tourism, Horticulture and Vocational Pathways.  Each year over 100 senior students benefit from STAR funding being used in the classroom.

STAR funding is also used to provide courses to students whose interests lie outside the curriculum.  Some of the courses provided in recent years have included first aid, chainsaw safety, security, shearing, film & television, hairdressing, health & safety, police preparation and sports.  In addition to these courses, we have used STAR funds to send students on Taster Courses which give students an idea of what studying at a particular tertiary institution would be like.  This is invaluable for helping students to decide on a career pathway.

Trades Academy

Trades Academy is a partnership between Wintec/Primary ITO, Industry and Secondary Schools.  It enables Year 11-13 students to combine practical tertiary-based study, in line with their career aims, with studies towards their NCEA qualifications.  Courses include Manufacturing and Technology (mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, electrical engineering and collision repair and paint), Services (hairdressing, hospitality, make-up and beauty), Construction and Infrastructure, Café Skills and Social & Community (health, early childhood education, social and community services) and Agriculture.

Students must be able to attend their course one day a week and be committed for the whole school year.  They must be able to either travel to Wintec (Hamilton or Kopu campuses) or meet with the Primary ITO tutor in the morning on their Trades Academy day to be taken out to farms for their course.

Trades Academy benefits include:

  • fees-free tertiary education
  • a head start on a trades career while achieving NCEA
  • help in deciding what students want to do after school
  • unit standard credits from the trades qualification count towards NCEA
  • more likely to achieve NCEA at higher levels when studying a qualification of interest
  • trade study inspires an understanding and appreciation of core subjects such as English, Math and Science
  • programmes offered are coordinated to make best use of both secondary and tertiary expertise and resources
  • secondary school support, friendships, networks and activities are maintained. You can keep doing the sport or after school activities you love, and attend the school ball!
  • full access to Wintec’s support services including student mentors, counselling, Student Learning Services, and Te Kete Kōnae
  • individual learning plans for each student cover attendance, workplace skills and life skills, e.g. problem solving, self-management, team building, time management, personal presentation and self esteem
  • make friends with students from other secondary schools with similar interests