“It’s been a real success”, enthuses Grant Hobbs, Gateway Coordinator at Auckland’s De La Salle College. “We’ve seen hundreds of young people engage with the workplace. Teachers and I have seen a real change in their maturity because they’re starting to work with adults. They’re starting to realise their own potential, and are gaining credits towards NCEQ Level 2 and Level 3.
“ServiceIQ is a really good provider and gives us fantastic value. The Gateway programmes being offered now really suit the needs of our young people.”
This already impressive and popular ServiceIQ portfolio of Gateway Training Programmes for schools continues to grow.
Doug Pouwhare, General Manager Talent Supply, Transitions and Operations for ServiceIQ, says “We’re delighted that service sector employers continue to see and appreciate the value that they contribute to the education of our nation’s taitamariki (young people).
“The schools and students we work with clearly appreciate the mahi that we and employers put into our Gateway offerings. Proof of this is, despite the COVID challenges, a 34% increase in Gateway numbers last year.
“More than 2,500 secondary students gained NCEA credits and valuable work and life skills through our retail and tourism Gateway in 2021. We expect that number to continue to grow, and are on track for that, with the launch of four new programmes already this year.”
Two of the new Gateway options are based on ServiceIQ’s proven retail model, with Green Cross Health and Torpedo7 stores bringing the choice for schools to nine employers nationwide.
Another of the new Gateway programmes is also focused on Aotearoa’s vital retail sector but adds a unique element in that it is fully online.
“Schools have told us that an online option is needed,” says Doug Pouwhare. “While some of the drive for this was the COVID lockdowns, there are students who are unable to be involved with the workplace portion of a traditional Gateway programme. Examples include students living in remote locations and relying on correspondence learning, young people who are not workplace ready, and those with physical or behavioural disabilities.
“Some people can move from a remote area to an urban location; others will grow in confidence and maturity and become ready for the workplace. But, for many of those with disabilities, it’s lifelong. We’re particularly proud that our new Retail Ready Online Gateway programme will allow all these young whānau to demonstrate to employers that they’re as capable, if not more, as any other employee.”
Retail Ready Online has already shown to add value to the strong ServiceIQ Gateway portfolio, having been successfully trialled and now available to all schools.
A student on a ServiceIQ Gateway Programme helps a traveller at Auckland Airport during the workplace component.
Other service sectors have also benefited from new ServiceIQ Gateway options. Just added to the aviation options is the Auckland Airport Guest Experience Gateway. “We’re reluctant to talk much about this one,” says Doug Pouwhare, “as the initial one filled immediately and there’s already a long waiting list for the places for the rest of the year. We’re working with Auckland International Airport – and other airports in Aotearoa – to see how we might meet the demand.
“We have a similar situation with our series of Māori tourism Cultural Camps, and mahi is underway to look at options to get more of these running while continuing to meet all COVID and other health and safety requirements.”
As the impressive 2021 growth in numbers and participation shows, these new Gateway programmes join a popular and valued collection.
“Feedback from teachers, students and whānau is consistently positive, as it is from the employers we partner with. But we’re not resting on our laurels. The team is constantly looking at areas for improvement, adjusting as necessary the 15 current Gateways programmes, and assessing opportunities to add others that will ensure the best outcomes for students, their teachers and schools, and our employers. By growing talent, we work to help everyone succeed.”