Gateway to high learning
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.’’