1.How many days work experience are required?
The minimum is 10 days of work experience over the year, however, we find that most students complete about 15-20 days. Placement is usually one day a week. We normally do not start any students on placement until March at the very earliest as it can take time to find and set up placements and we want students to settle into their other classes before they start out on placement.

2.Can I choose my own area of work?
Each student will have a chance to speak with Miss Anderton and Ms Moore regarding areas of interest. Although Electrical and Building trades are the most popular, Gateway has offered a range of ‘Careers’ in the past including Industrial Abseiling, Plumbing, Farming, Mountain Safety and Mechanical Engineering.

3.If I choose Gateway, what happens next?
In Term 4 we contact all students who selected Gateway as an option and invite them to make an appointment with the Gateway staff at HIBS. During this meeting we will go through more detail about how Gateway works and what the expectations are and answer any questions you might have. We encourage students to bring a parent(s) with them too as often parents have a lot of their own questions.

4.Do I have to find my own placement?
No. If you have a contact in the industry you wish to work in, we are happy to work with the contact to see if a placement is possible. However, you do not need to have any contacts – we will look for the placement for you.

5.Are there Credits available through Gateway?
Yes. The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) which provides the funding for Gateway has the expectation that all students achieve a minimum of 20 credits through Gateway. All students complete Health and Safety and First Aid Courses at the beginning which provides 12 credits towards the minimum of 20 credits. During the year there is theory work available to go alongside the practical elements. HIBS works with a range of providers, such as BCITO, Skills, Competenz and others, in order to allow our students to reach their potential and this work will allow students to gain the further credits that they need. We are often able to make more credits available later in the year in the form of an all day course tailored to the cohort.

6.What happens if I get too busy with my schoolwork?
Students have a timetabled Gateway class to ensure they keep on top of their other subjects. The Gateway teacher is also available to provide support and help with school work. However, if students become busy with Internals, or feel they need a day off work to catch up on classes at school, then their HIBS school work takes precedence. Students will need to communicate this early to their employers.

7. Can I try a different trade each term?
Generally no. Placements and learning resources can take considerable time to find and set up so we ask that students stick to one trade for the year. It is best for students to have a good idea of the job type they wish to trial in the term 4 of the year prior so we can start working on placement contacts before the new school year starts.