Practical experience is preferred over textbook smarts for a group of Marlborough Boys' College students taking part in a Gateway programme.
Programme co-ordinator Peter Kemp said the course offered students real life experience in the industries they wanted to enter.
An annual lunch hosted to thank employers involved with the programme was held at the Clubs of Marlborough yesterday.
Kemp said the programme was growing from strength to strength with the Tertiary Education Commission continuing to allocate more places for the school.
"Our students are doing so well, that our numbers keep growing each year. Students are required to do 10 credits each and our boys averaged 20 last year," he said.
Robin Roselli of Stainless Systems NZ has employed three students in the last four years and was proud to be part of the programme. He was offered an opportunity as a student to work with someone and later did his apprenticeship with them.
"I was given a helping hand and now it's my turn to return the favour. All businesses should be getting involved if they can - it's helping the students and our community," he said.
Roselli believed the best way to encourage students to take up trade jobs was to get them involved hands on, so they could see what the job entailed.
He was proud of the boys who worked with him and seeing them take on apprenticeships.
"There is always a need for more qualified tradesmen in Marlborough, so this is a great way to guide those interested into those trades," Roselli said.
His first student Max Seufert just completed his apprenticeship and will be leaving for Germany in two weeks.
"I started with Robin four years ago and it changed my life.
"I've never been a book smart person, but I loved my Gateway lessons and realised the trade was for me. It really gave me a more positive attitude towards my future," Seufert said.
The second student to join, Nic Bennett, started an apprenticeship in January.
He was grateful for the opportunity Roselli had given him.
"I am really enjoying my apprenticeship. I have learnt so much already and would tell every student thinking about it to join the programme," he said.
The latest recruit, year 12 student Lockie Broughton had already completed his required credits for the year and hoped to start his apprenticeship next year.
He had learnt so much about working with metal and what could be created with it.
"It has been great. I enjoy it way more than I thought I would. It's great to now look at a chair and see what went into making it. Everyone should consider the programme," he said.
- The Marlborough Express
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