A career in the trade industries is a great choice for your students. Through an apprenticeship or on-the-job training programme, they’ll gain qualifications and practical skills and experience in the workplace, earn while they learn, and have no student loan to repay.

Contact us for more information on a MITO apprenticeship or training programme.

StartUp® their career at school

StartUp® is MITO's secondary school Gateway programme. It enables secondary school students to gain credits towards a National Certificate in Motor Industry (Foundation Skills) (Level 1) – a great first step towards a rewarding career in New Zealand's automotive industry.

It gives students a great foundation for the future by:

  • offering practical work-based learning
  • achieving credits towards NCEA and a national certificate
  • providing access to specialist automotive learning and assessment
  • helping them to gain valuable experience and a great introduction to the working environment. 

StartUp® allows students to gain up to 42 credits from 16 unit standards towards NCEA Level 1 and Level 2. There are two programmes:

Ignition programme

Students complete theory-based unit standards in the classroom and practical unit standards through workplace experience with a local employer. The classroom unit standards provide them with essential information on the New Zealand automotive industry and safety in the workplace. Once they’ve completed the Ignition programme, they receive a Certificate of Recognition and can enrol in the Accelerate programme.

Accelerate programme

Through Accelerate, students complete a range of unit standards related to working in an automotive workshop and much more! Once they’ve completed both the Ignition and Accelerate programmes, they will gain a National Certificate in Motor Industry (Foundation Skills) (Level 1).

Note: Schools will assess units standards in their base scope accreditation (BSAS). MITO will assess remaining unit standards. 

Download the StartUp® brochure for more information PDF - 698 KB.

We're here to help you with setting up and managing your school’s StartUp® programme.


We provide you with comprehensive information on the StartUp® programme and how it works.


We provide you with the details of local businesses interested in offering workplace experience for your StartUp® students and possibly full-time work as a result.


Students could be offered placements in collision repair, automotive refinishing, and automotive electrical and mechanical services - working with cars, trucks, farm vehicles, heavy equipment, motorcycles, trailer boats and outdoor power equipment.


We conduct 'Training Capacity Assessments' of potential workplaces before we confirm them as suitable for your StartUp® students. These assessments cover:

  • the equipment and range of work available
  • the qualifications and experience of the people who'll be training the students
  • the supervision available
  • the workplaces' compliance with health and safety legislation
  • the workplaces' compliance with local body regulations
  • the unit standards the workplaces can offer.

Regular Contact

Our Industry Training Advisors visit your StartUp® students at the workplace - helping them to set their learning goals, choose their unit standards and track their progress.

Work Inspiration is an exciting employer-led work exploration programme for 13 to 18-year-old students. It helps open students' minds to the world of work and the opportunities that lie within.

What is involved?

The programme is employer-led, so the employer determines the shape of the programme. Typically, students spend around three days in a workplace, experiencing the roles and career pathways on offer. It will be exciting, hands-on, fun and inspiring for everyone.

What are the benefits for students?

  • More motivation and engagement
  • Better work-related skills
  • More confidence, knowledge and awareness of careers
  • Better work ethic and understanding of teamwork
  • Improved communication skills.

More information

If you are keen to find out more, or register for Work Inspiration, visit workinspiration.nz.