Vocational Pathways


The Vocational Pathways provide new ways to achieve NCEA Level 2 – the qualification considered as foundational for success in further education and work-based training.

Our school incorporates vocational pathways into every faculty including the Pathways Programmes: Trades Academy and Gateway.

Top of the South Trades Academy

Senior Students: Get going places! Stay at school, and learn a trade!

The Top of the South Trades Academy (TOTSTA) is about giving secondary students in our region the chance to train for a real job while they are still at school.

Trades Academy training is practical and hands-on learning and there are lots of options to choose from. Students can study anything from mechanical engineering and aquaculture to hairdressing and hospitality. During their training they learn heaps of useful skills to help them go on to further study or get a job right out of school. The best part is, it’s free!

View the Trades Academy Overview PDF


Keen on a particular career? Stay at school and gain relevant industry based skills and experience!

The Gateway work experience programme blends school study with workplace learning and hands-on experience.

Garin's Gateway Programme is an exciting opportunity for Year 12 and 13 Students to explore jobs and gain industry based unit standards as they work towards a clear career pathway. The Gateway programme was initially set up to support the transition to work for students in traditional trades industries; however our school has had successful work experience placements in electrical, building, hairdressing, graphic design, aviation, travel and tourism, broadcasting, aged care, early childhood, pool lifeguarding… and the list goes on.  Each year we have approximately 30 students achieving industry based credits and gaining essential work experience. Many find it an invaluable opportunity to try out a career before making a huge commitment of time and money to training.


Try out Tertiary training options relevant to your career pathway now!

Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) equips schools with funding towards the cost of taster courses. Local and national Tertiary training organisations offer STAR opportunities to students who would like to find out more about their chosen field of study. Courses run throughout the year, but places and funding are limited. Get in quick to apply for the course you want and enjoy the experience of being a tertiary student. Student for a day opportunities are also available if the industry training course of your choice doesn’t offer a STAR programme.


Kim Holmes: Careers Coordinator
Sandy Van Den Berg: Top of the South Trades Academy Coordinator
Kaylene Teariki: Gateway Coordinator