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Young Men Taking Their Place in the World


Career Education at Nelson College

Nelson College has a school wide, integrated, culturally responsive careers programme that enables students to achieve their potential and be a positive contributor to the community and nation as a whole. This programme supports students to self-manage their learning to enable them to successfully transition from school into further study or work.

The Career Education Plan focuses on the development of career management competencies which will enable students to build their:

  • self-awareness skills, in particular their strengths and interests
  • knowledge about a range of careers and pathways and identify possibilities and opportunities
  • understanding of consequences of choices and decisions
  • ability to make plans and to take action.

The Careers Team at Nelson College

The Careers team at Nelson College provides a range of services, opportunities and experiences that encourage students to make informed choices about their future career pathways:

  • Career education programmes for each year level
  • Individual or group careers counselling (parents are welcome to attend)
  • Gateway Programme for senior students
  • Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR)
  • Trades Academy programmes
  • interviews skills, CV writing, preparation for applications to University or Polytechnics
  • subject selection advice
  • annual Careers Roadshow
  • provision of specialist speakers from industry or tertiary institutes to provide up-to-date information to students
  • tertiary scholarship advice
  • work exploration/shadowing
  • specialist programmes for Maori and Pasifika from outside providers
  • StudyLink and IRD information sessions


The Careers team work with teachers, Deans and guidance staff.


Our Gateway co-ordinator will facilitate workplace experience for those students who wish to apply for acceptance on the Gateway programme.

These students must submit an application form and attend an interview with the Careers team in Term 4. Prior to a work placement, students need to demonstrate to the Careers team a level of responsibility, great attendance and a work-ready attitude. Gateway students are required to achieve a minimum of 20 unit standard credits, which may be chosen from individual units from specific Industry Training Organisations.

Top of the South Trades Academy (TOTSTA)

The Top of the South Trades Academy was set up to help secondary students succeed. The goal is to give students:

  • more reason to stay at school
  • a greater chance of career success
  • an easy transition into work or tertiary education straight from school

The Academy is a partnership between secondary schools such as Nelson College across the Top of the South, the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), and Whenua iti Outdoors. Areas of study are:

  • Hairdressing
  • Civil Engineering
  • Aviation Engineering
  • Aquaculture and Maritime
  • Primary Industries
  • Sport and Exercise
  • Adventure Tourism

Automotive, Trade Building and Industrial Engineering are taught at Nelson College as part of the general curriculum.

Students accepted in to the Trades Academy complete NCEA at school, while at the same time working towards a National Certificate in a trade. Training is one day a week commitment at campuses in Richmond, Nelson, Whenua iti Outdoors or at select schools.

Applications are open to year 12 and 13 students who have at least NCEA Level 1, are focussed, committed to learning and keen to work towards a career in the trades. Speak to Mrs Phillips, the Trades Academy Coordinator for Nelson College. More information is available on the TOTSTA website.