The Gateway Programme


Mount Aspiring College's successful Gateway Programme is going from strength to strength. Between 2007 and 2016 over 200 senior students have taken up the challenge of combining work based learning with their on-site academic programme.

We were stoked to hear that one of our first Gateway students in 2007, Sarah Tweedie, has just completed her first year as an Early ChildhoodEducation teacher in Queenstown. Sarah spent two years on the Gateway Programme, gaining experience at three local ECE centres and completing units towards the National Certificate in Childcare. She then completed a Nanny Certificate at SIT which helped her gain entry onto ECE Teaching Diploma from which she graduated in 2011. Sarah's passion and hard work made her career dreams come true.

If you would like to know more about this exciting programme or would like to place a student in the future then contact the MAC Gateway Coordinator.


Gateway supports students undertaking learning and assessment in the workplace. Schools are funded to co-ordinate this activity to ensure the educational and subsequent employment needs of students are met.

Structured workplace learning is a formalised learning arrangement set in an actual workplace for a sustained period of time, with clear understandings about the knowledge and skills to be attained, and the assessment of unit or achievement standards.

Students complete a work placement and have their learning in the workplace assessed against unit and/or achievement standards on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and integrated with their current programme of study.

Gateway integrates general education with workplace learning and assessment. Gateway builds on existing partnerships to develop new relationships among schools, Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) and employers. This approach dovetails with Modern Apprenticeships and the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) to provide further pathways and recognise a broader range of achievement.

Gateway provides senior school students with valuable learning and ‘pathwaying’ opportunities. For example, students can gain specific vocational skills leading to future employment and can benefit from making significant progress towards qualifications. All students can enhance their career management skills in a world where the roles of learner and worker continue to change.

Key Features

  • A workplace learning component is incorporated into the student’s overall study programme.
  • Year 11 – 13 students are eligible to participate in Gateway.
  • There is no additional cost for students who participate in Gateway.
  • Schools can either directly manage the delivery of Gateway, or engage a broker to arrange and oversee all or part of the programme.
  • A work placement relevant to the student’s learning and vocational goals is arranged.
  • An individualised learning plan is prepared with each student which identifies the learning and assessment to be undertaken.
  • Placement with an employer who can deliver the learning plan is arranged.
  • A work placement is for a sustained period to ensure planned learning goals are met.
  • The school, employer and student formalise their understanding of what will occur in a Gateway Placement Agreement before the student begins the work placement.
  • Workplace learning is usually assessed against NQF unit standards or achievement standards, and this assessment usually occurs in the workplace.

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