Careers Information

The Careers Department is a valuable school resource that has a wide range of current information on careers and tertiary education. Support and guidance is offered to all students to enable them to start planning their future and make informed choices about their transition from school to further study, training, jobs or careers. Individual counselling and career advice is available from our Careers Adviser. Students are assisted with subject choices, interview skills, job applications, enrolments to tertiary institutions and scholarship applications.

Senior students have the opportunity to apply for STAR courses which enable them to experience samples of career options, and can apply to take part in Gateway for a work placement as part of their school programme.

As a part of the student’s career education programme, visits by representatives from universities, and other tertiary intuitions are scheduled throughout the year. The Careers Department is open at lunch time for any students needing help or advice.

Resources Available

  • Course/programme information from Universities, Technical Institutes, other tertiary education facilities and also from companies who offer work-based training.
  • Information about different careers available and qualifications required for these.
  • DVD/CD’s from Industry Training Organisations, Universities and government departments.
  • Noticeboard advertising part and full time job availability.
  • Organised visits from student exchange organisations, universities and many other information/educational opportunities.

Programmes Available


STAR courses are Ministry funded courses of between 2 and 4 days duration in a tertiary environment as tasters for students who are considering these particular areas as a careers.

More information on STAR courses is available below.


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

More information on Gateway is available below.


This course has been approved as a Certificate Qualification at Level 2 by NZQA.  In addition to the Certificate Qualification (National Certificate in Mainstream Studies) at Level 2,  there are opportunities to achieve a range of unit standards from Levels 1-4 which can go towards the Level 1, 2 or 3 National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA).

More information on SPEC is available below.

STAR Courses

There are two types of STAR programmes on offer for students accepted into the STAR class.

Unit Standards or degree/diploma papers studies in class time as correspondence courses. Courses can take from one term to a full year to complete. Assisgnments and tests are completed and sent to the providers for marking.

Unit Standards or degree/diploma papers offered as short-term courses by Private Accredited Providers (e.g. EIT, Workforce Consultants). These courses may take blocks of time out of school during the term or be offered as block courses in the school holidays.

Students must apply for a position in the STAR class at the end of their Year 12 year. They will be interviewed prior to selection. Students must be able to show that they have a clear idea of what area of work or study they are planning to move into. Students will be required to undertake sufficient courses to cover a full year of study equivalent to a school subject (140 hours). Students may also apply for a STAR course as an extra to their normal five subject programme.

Some popular examples of STAR courses are:

  • Animal Care
  • Customer Service
  • Horticulture
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Viticulture
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Web Design
  • Hospitality – Bar Service / Barista
  • Business Studies
  • Internet Applications
  • Fashion Illustration
  • Computer Aided Draughting
  • First year university maths papers

A wide range of student selected Unit Standards and degree/diploma papers are available.

STAR funding is used to ensure that all students have the opportunity to experience courses outside the normal school curriculum. This does mean that there is an investment of funds in individual students and it is expected that students who are offered these opportunities use them effectively and positively. STAR is not an easy option and all the courses require a degree of commitment and application on the part of the student and a faultless attendance record at school. There are assignments to be completed and often both written and practical workplace assessments to be made. Correspondence work requires a lot of self-motivation and perseverance and the ability to study independently. This work is completed in the STAR teaching class which runs as a normal school subject for four hours a week. Students will be expected to pay a bond before beginning any courses.


The Gateway programme is designed to strengthen the pathway for students from school to workplace learning.

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 Unit or Achievement Standards to be assessed.

Students complete a supervised work placement and have their learning in the workplace assessed against Unit and/or Achievement Standards on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).  Gateway integrates workplace learning and assessment with their current school programme of study.  Gateway builds on existing partnerships to develop new relationships among School, Industry Training Organisations (ITO’s) 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 students with valuable learning and pathway opportunities.  For example, students can gain specific vocational skills leading to future employment and can also benefit by making significant progresss towards qualifications.  All students can enhance their career management skills in a world where the roles of learner and worker continue to change.

Employers benefit from involvement with the programme through improved public relations and contributing to local needs.  In the longer term, employers have the opportunity for more efficient and effective recruitment which can contribute to increased productivity and an enhanced company skill base.


Gateway Student Profile – Diesel Mechanic

A Career in Diesel Automotive Engineering 

Rhys hard at work

2010 is Taradale High School’s third year offering the Gateway program for senior students.

Rhys Nagel, a Year 12 student, decided he would like a career as a Diesel Mechanic. He was invited to join the Gateway class after successfully meeting the entry criteria.

Rhys has a placement with Hawke’s Bay Automotive Engineering Ltd, working one day per week. Dave Symonds, HB Automotive’s owner-operator, services clients from Central Hawke Bay to Wairoa. Repairing and maintaining all types of mechanical equipment, specialising in diesel engines.

No two days are the same and Rhys could find himself on a farm fixing a tractor, at a winery replacing parts on an industrial machine or servicing a bulldozer for a contractor. He is not only gaining valuable hands-on skills, he is also learning what it would be like to run his own business in his chosen trade.

Along with the practical experience gained, he is also enrolled with AgChallenge Ltd from Wanganui to provide automotive theory unit standards which count towards his NCEA achievements for the year.

2011 Update

Rhys completed Year 12 with 6 Level 1, 33 Level 2 and 6 Level 3 credits, a total of 45 credits from his Gateway programme. He has since been accepted to study the Certificate in Automotive Engineering at E.I.T. and also qualified for the Youth Guarantee Scholarship which covers his course costs for the year.

The success of the Gateway program hinges on the relationships that schools develop with their Gateway employers. Taradale High School would like to thank Dave and Virginia Symonds for their continued support of our programme.



Gateway Student Profile – Baker

2.00am Starts For A Keen Bakery Student 

Helena at Heavens on the Meadows

Part way through 2010 Helena Gower was invited to join the Taradale High School Gateway Program, which she has continued with this year. She identified a passion for baking through her food and nutrition classes at school and was keen to experience work in a bakery.

Jason and Leanne Heaven have supported Taradale High School in the past and happily took Helena under their wing at Heaven’s on the Meadows in Greenmeadows. Jason has recognised the value of the Gateway program and now prefers that prospective apprentices complete a year of Gateway before they are considered for an apprenticeship. He is able to get to know the student, judge their commitment and suitability for the job (given the irregular hours) and most importantly see how they fit in the team environment.

Helena started in the cake decorating department and has now moved on to the pastry and dough department making pies and bread products. She hopes her work experience will lead to an apprenticeship in the future. At school, alongside her other subjects, Helena is working on baking related unit standards provided by Skills4Work. She has also completed comprehensive first aid and a health and safety in the workplace course.

Helena’s comment about Gateway

Heaven’s is a great place to work and I really appreciate the opportunity to find out for sure that baking is what I want to do.



The Shooting Star and One Star Awards provide opportunities for students to undertake tasks that are challenging, although students are still able to have help and support at these levels. The planning process requires students to complete managing self plans and reviews, and there are opportunities to achieve Unit Standards at Level 1 where appropriate. The Two Star and Three Star Awards progress into providing tasks to be undertaken in a wider range of situations where students are, on occasions, expected to work in unfamiliar situations and with unfamiliar people. There is a wide range of taks, but careful planning ensures that students meet the wider range of criteria for this level. There is still a requirement to complete managing self plans and reviews. There are opportunities to achieve Unit Standards at Level 2 and 3 where appropriate.

Each programme focuses on learning how to learn through developing the Key Competencies of the NZ Curriculum and developing the skills needed for life long learning, including literacy and numeracy skills. Students build up a portfolio of tasks that includes planning how they will achieve learning, shows evidence of what they have learned and reviews how they learned.

The range of tasks includes:

  • My Community
  • Maori Culture
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Cultural Experience
  • Personal Reflection
  • Sports Fitness and Health
  • Independent Living
  • Work Awareness
  • Multimedia Magic
  • Arts

Links of Interest


Careers Services
An excellent online resources to help make careers/training decisions. Tools such as Subject Matcher or Skill Matcher are very useful, more specific links to this website are listed below.

One of the tools on the Careers Services website.

CV Builder
Another useful tool on the Careers Services website.

Study Link
Study Link connects people with the information they need to make informed decisions about student finances and other study-related issues, and provide financial support to students.

Student Job Search
Casual, part-time and full time work for students.

Health Careers
A whole range of career options within the health service, including lots of options for non-clinical careers in IT, administration etc.


Below are links to some of New Zealand’s Universities and Polytechnical Institutes:

University of Auckland

Massey University

Victoria University

University of Canterbury

University of Otago

Lincoln University

AUT University

EIT Hawke’s Bay

Wellington Institute of Technology (Weltec)

Careers Staff

Andrea Sims
Head of Department
Transition Services

Robin Penman
Careers Advisor

Lynda Vidulich
Gateway Co-ordinator