NZMA is playing a leading role in shaping the futures of local high school students.
The provider – which specialises in hospitality and business training - is part of both the Gateway and STAR (Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource) programmes which aim to support high school students as they head towards tertiary-level studies or the workplace.
STAR courses are considered to be “tasters” for a specific industry a student may be interested in career-wise. NZMA’s Auckland South Academy has been running STAR courses in hospitality for the past few years as a result of a partnership with Otahuhu College. Fifteen students have completed the programme this year.
Meanwhile the popular Gateway programme is delivered at NZMA’s Waikato and Auckland West Academies. Gateway offers secondary school students the opportunity to experience workplaces first hand whilst also doing structured workplace learning. NZMA Waikato has delivered Gateway courses in barista, food safety, hospitality operations and customer service, while the Auckland West Academy has offered both hospitality and business units for the past few years.
Auckland West Academy Administrator Michaela Farnath said the programme had proven to be highly successful with 50 students from seven West Auckland schools completing it in 2011.
“By giving these high school students the opportunity to study in an adult tertiary academy they have had to behave appropriately, interact with adult students, be organised for class and experience the assessment process,” said Michaela.
“Gateway is an effective programme as it allows the students to get a taste for what tertiary study is like and an insight into their possible career paths. This gives them the ability to make a more informed choice for their future.”
Students on the programmes study at NZMA once a week for a few hours while simultaneously continuing with their high school studies.
During 2011 NZMA Waikato ran hospitality courses for 57 students from three Hamilton high schools. Liz Wilson, who is in charge of Gateway Liaison at Cambridge High School, said they had received lots of positive feedback from the students who had been involved in the programme.
“Our students are learning in an environment that is supportive, encouraging and fun,” said Liz.
“Not only that, but they are having a learning experience outside of a school environment which exposes them to other career pathways and providers. It is really effective because it provides opportunities not normally available for these students at school.”
NZMA Waikato Academy Manager Marama Tahapehi is thrilled that NZMA has the chance to support the extra learning requested by local high schools.
“Secondary schools may not have the expertise or facilities to deliver certain subjects, for example food & beverage or food health and safety. By sending their students to us for part of their studies, the students benefit from our industry-experienced tutors, state-of-the-art hospitality facilities, small class sizes and vocational training,” said Marama.
Gateway tutor Alan Hatchard has been teaching hospitality at NZMA for the last ten years. His industry experience is extensive – he trained to be a butcher and a chef as a school leaver and since then has worked all over the globe in a wide range of hospitality-related roles. Just prior to joining NZMA he was the General Manager of a successful hotel in Hamilton.
Giving secondary students the opportunity to study with such a key industry player is a great way for them to test the waters and see if that is the industry they really want to forge their careers in.
“Sometimes I have facilitated these courses at the high schools but generally we run them from NZMA because of our great facilities and on-site training tools,” said Alan.
“Coming into a tertiary environment to study gives these students a new look at education. It makes them feel that it’s a step up in learning and also in the environment and they rise to the challenge.”
Director of Pathways at Melville High School Ruth Searancke has been involved with NZMA Waikato since 2004 and is looking forward to using NZMA again for Gateway in 2012.
“We are pleased with the quality of delivery and assessment,” said Ruth.
“The students are proud of their achievement and always enjoy the relationship they have with their tutor Alan, who works hard to ensure all students achieve. The greatest benefit is Alan’s adaptability and willingness to work around what best suits our school, teachers and students.
“We are very happy with the effectiveness of the Gateway programme.”