The Zealandia Blog

Gateway student Ashley is an asset to the team

October 26, 2012

AshleyAshley Joy, of Hutt Valley High School, Year 12, has been working hard with our facilities team for four months and has helped us enormously while he builds up useful skills. We were touched to see this quote from Ashley in Gateway’s Newsletter:

“Before I got on Gateway I thought I was good at nothing but the Gateway Programme allowed me to find out my real skills and real dream job. If it wasn’t for Gateway I would have probably dropped out of school, so I don’t know what I would have done without it. Zealandia is the perfect placement for me!”

Facilities Manager Russ Drewry tells us about Ashley’s placement:

“When I was initially approached about taking on a 16 year old as part of the Gateway programme I was, to be frank, fairly skeptical. However, not wanting to put prejudice before a chance to prove I agreed and am now very glad I did. Ashley has become a proven member of the facilities team in all respects – he has shown enthusiasm, good problem solving skills, adaptability and common sense (which isn’t as common as its name suggests) and has integrated in to a small team comprised of more mature individuals in such a positive way that I have heard nothing but positive comments from his new colleagues.

In the four months he has been here he has done food preparation for several species, helped with planting and track work, come up to speed on walking section fence checking & also just been signed off as part of a weekly ute fence check team and as an approved scrub-bar user. I have seen a degree of maturity in his approach which is indicative of someone in their twenties and this led me to recommend to Kalpana at Gateway that he attend a chain-sawing course with another member of the facilities team which he successfully completed. These are valuable skills to have for use throughout the valley and would also enable him to be part of an emergency response team if we ever have a major tree fall in or around the valley. In summary I have enjoyed having Ash as part of the team through the Gateway program and when he has completed his exams know that if he chooses a career in Conservation Facilities his blend of cheerful enthusiasm and evolving skill set will stand him in good stead and if that is the next step for him I hope that he may consider coming on to our team permanently in a trainee position.”

Gateway helps students to build skills for employment, working in real work places on real tasks. It gives opportunities to try out potential careers and build links to Industry Training Organisations, Modern Apprenticeships and workplaces.

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