Gate­way to high learn­ing

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - REXINE HAWES

Class­room learn­ing has given Brody Stewart valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence, which he is now us­ing in a whole new en­vi­ron­ment.

The year 12 stu­dent is half­way through his 10 week work place­ment at Ag-Worx (J.S Jobe Ltd) through the Mata­mata Col­lege Gate­way pro­gramme.

Brody has en­joyed his time at school, but is ready to go into em­ploy­ment in the agri­cul­tural en­gi­neer­ing in­dus­try.

He says so far, he is lov­ing his time with Ag-Worx, and the va­ri­ety it of­fers him. ‘‘I’m hav­ing a lot of fun. ‘‘I like that i’m in the work­shop and then the next hour im on a hill look­ing out at a nice view, next I’m in a cow­shed, then back in the work­shop. I’m not do­ing the same thing ev­ery­day.’’

Mata­mata Col­lege Gate­way co­or­di­na­tor Kym Bolton-Hamp­ton says Brody is a great ex­am­ple of the Gate­way pro­gramme in ac­tion.

‘‘What Gate­way has done is it has used the things Brody has done at school and ap­plied prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence to it.

‘‘He is re­ally adapt­ing and tran­si­tion­ing from school into the work­force, and us­ing Gate­way for that tran­si­tion.’’

Ag-Worx (J.S Jobe Ltd) gen­eral man­ager Craig Hawes says he likes the Gate­way pro­gramme in that it helps him to be able to in­tro­duce stu­dents to an in­dus­try that is less de­sir­able to school leavers.

‘‘It gives us the abil­ity to teach some- one the ways of the in­dus­try and gives the stu­dent the chance to try some­thing new and unique.

‘‘He is fit­ting in well, and has plenty of peo­ple here who are will­ing to show him the ropes and pro­vide men­tor­ing.’’

Kym says, it is com­pa­nies like AgWorx, who en­joy tak­ing on Gate­way stu­dents that makes it so suc­cess­ful.

‘‘The re­al­ity is, I can’t do this un­less there are em­ploy­ers will­ing to take on kids.

‘‘I’ve got 160 busi­nesses in­volved and I’m try­ing to bal­ance the em­ploy­ers needs with the stu­dents needs and try­ing to bring it all to­gether.

‘‘Other towns have found it hard ... Mata­mata has a bunch of re­ally sup­port­ive em­ploy­ers.’’

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