Trades and horticulture students

My Career Pathway (Trades)

New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Skills (Level 2)


Course details

My Career Pathway (Trades)

(An Introduction to Trades)

  • One semester
  • Full-time
  • You may qualify for fee-free study under Fees-Free or Youth Guarantee
  • Level 2
  • Hamilton Rotokauri Campus

Students can choose one of two strands:

  • Manufacturing and Technology: Automotive, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering; or
  • Construction and Infrastructure: Building, Plumbing and Gas Fitting, Electrical Engineering

My Career Pathway (Horticulture)

(An Introduction to Horticulture)

  • One semester
  • Full-time
  • You may qualify for fee-free study under Fees-Free or Youth Guarantee
  • Level 2
  • Hamilton Gardens Campus

Horticulture, is a vocational strand within My Career Pathway that will give you a taste of Horticulture, Arboriculture, and Landscape Construction.

All students enrolled full-time in My Career Pathway (Horticulture) receive free personal protective clothing.


Please note these programmes are not currently being offered for 2022. For expressions of interest, please contact us by email.


My Career Pathway is a free**, six-month course designed for 16 to 19-year-olds looking to gain basic knowledge, skills, and experience within the areas of either trades or horticulture. If you successfully complete the course, you will walk away with a Level 2 qualification, the New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Skills as well as additional credits. You can then choose whether you continue on with further study, or try to gain an apprenticeship within the workforce.

For the first two weeks, you take part in introductory workshops. At the end of this time, you then decide which pathway you want to pursue. There is no need to decide which pathway to take at the start, which takes the pressure off. These workshops, called ‘taster’ sessions, give you the chance to explore which area you like the most before deciding.

The pathways are:

  1. Trades (Manufacturing and Technology) – designed for those who like the idea of fixing cars, making things work with electrical wiring, or making machinery operate.
  2. Trades (Construction and Infrastructure) – for those interested in building, plumbing, or gasfitting and electrical engineering.
  3. Horticulture - for those interested in working with plants, as arborists (caring for and cutting trees), or as landscapers.

No matter which path you pursue, you can guarantee that you are going to experience real-world environments. Our two trades pathways are offered at our purpose-built, state-of-the-art trades-training facility at our Rotokauri Campus. Our horticulture pathway runs at the famous Hamilton Gardens Campus, which enables students to learn in one of the most expansive and celebrated garden environments in the country.

My Career Pathway focuses on getting out there and learning things by doing them. You walk away with more confidence and some great skills and knowledge to take into your next level of study, or into the workforce.

In addition to the formal qualifications and skills gained, another benefit of the course is our high level of interactive support. Our tutors and support staff are focused on your success, and the team will guide you through the journey to ensure you feel happy and confident during your study.

Find out about the programme, and hear from our students in the videos below

What you will achieve 

Upon successful completion of this course, you will gain the following in just six months:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 2), AND,
  • 60 credits in a vocational pathway, AND,
  • a further 20 credits towards the NCEA Level 2.

You will also build on your knowledge of English and maths, as well as learning core trades skills. 

Hands-on, project-based learning

With My Career Pathway learning is fun and interactive, with a focus on getting out there and learning it by doing it. You will get to work on real-life projects that will help you gain useful skills. Even the way you learn maths and literacy is hands-on because we build these subjects into the practical work - using real situations to teach these rather than book-work.

For the community project, our students as a class identify a local community or group in need. They then, with support from their tutor, develop an idea and go about producing it. Once the class has completed the project, the final outcome can be kept or donated.

You can check out the work that previous students have done here to get a better idea of some of the projects that have been worked on.

Whānau room

An additional benefit of the My Career Pathway course is a support service we call the Whānau Room. This service focuses on your well-being, providing a full range of support in a safe and supportive environment. Our Kaiāwhina (whānau coaches) work with you each week, in a one to one session to help support you in areas that you want to focus on beyond just what you are learning.

Our aim is to help you feel equipped to manage your daily life. This isn't just as a student of Wintec, but also as an active member of the community.

Pathway Flowcharts

Please click the images below to see where your pathway choice can take you at Wintec.


Wintec Trades pathway


Horticulture, Arboriculture, Landscape Design and Construction pathway diagram

Please check the entry criteria for each programme to see which course is the best level for you to begin with. The entry criteria information can be found on each of the programme pages here online. You can also contact us directly to discuss the appropriate level for you at

View programme modules

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
GEDU201Seeking, Obtaining and Using Information220  
GEDU202Problem Solving and Communication220  
GEDU203Teamwork and Goal Setting220  


Check out some projects that were undertaken by our past My Career Pathway students.

Foldaway Skateboard being built by student in the Wintec trades building

Foldaway Skateboard being built in Wintec Trades building

Foldaway longboard: Our Manufacturing and Technology students designed and built their own foldaway longboards (skateboards) which they were able to take home upon completion of the project. This allowed them to hone skills in welding as well as construction.

Fresh Green Start 1

Trailer parked beside garden

Class garden: In addition to working in parks and gardens within the community, these Horticulture students planted and maintained their own class garden. This allowed them to learn a variety of horticulture, arboriculture, and landscape construction skills, right on campus.

“Growing plants in the garden makes you feel that you have achieved something." - Tutor, Beatriz Hardy.

Toy Truck being built in Wintec trades building

Toy Truck being built in Wintec trades building by student with help from tutor

Toy truck: Our Construction and Infrastructure students worked on a number of projects including building a toy truck, which required learning construction, welding and wiring skills.

Entry criteria

This programme is open to all students aged 16 to 19-year-old.

Selection criteria

Candidates may be required to participate in an interview to determine their suitability for the programme.

English language requirements

Candidates who have English as a second language are required to have an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 5.5, with no individual band score lower than 5.0; or equivalent.

Want to see full details of the entry criteria?
Don't meet the entry criteria?



Wintec Trades pathway


Horticulture, Arboriculture, Landscape Design and Construction pathway diagram

To check what you need to gain entry to a course, review the entry criteria available on each programme page. These assist you in understanding what qualifications or experience are typically required to gain entry. You can contact our team at or 0800 2 Wintec at any time for further guidance.

Your first day

Are you ready for your first day of class? Check out your start date and where you need to be. You can also find useful information about studying at Wintec on our welcome page.

Please note this programme is not currently being offered. For expressions of interest, please contact us by email.

What you will need

Timetable information

All Wintec timetables are available online here.

How to find your way around

Campus maps can be found here.

Parking and bus information

Both the Rotokauri and City campuses have parking available - permits are required. Learn more about parking and find out about discounted bus services here.

He reo pōwhiri, your official welcome to Wintec

Tēnei te mihi mahana ki a koe e piki nei, e kake nei ki te Kuratini o Waikato.

You are warmly invited to attend the official welcome to Wintec for all new students, staff and whānau (family) at either our marae, Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa or Rotokauri campus. The pōwhiri is a welcoming ceremony involving mihimihi (speeches), waiata (singing), and will conclude with kai timotimo (light refreshments). Please gather at the campus hubs, and a staff member will guide you through our pōwhiri.

Click here to find out when the next pōwhiri will be.

Paying for your study

Course-related costs

Additional information


Purchasing textbooks

If your programme requires you to have access to textbooks, these can be purchased through a range of suppliers listed below:

    New Zealand-based suppliers

    General book suppliers

    First aid certificate

    Health status



    Clinical placement

    Prospectus (course guide)

    The Wintec Prospectus (otherwise known as a course guide) outlines everything you need to know about Wintec. It contains information about the Wintec campuses, student life, and the programmes that are on offer.

    Access your copy of the Wintec Prospectus

    The Wintec Prospectus (course guide) is available by downloading the file - click on the document below to access the file. Alternatively, to request a copy via email or the post, please complete the form below.

    Request an emailable or printed copy of the Prospectus


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