Danyelle always thought she’d grow up to be a hairstylist, working in the most fashionable salons across New Zealand and possibly the world. After she graduated high school, she signed up to do an apprenticeship in hairdressing, but she quickly found out that it wasn’t the right career for her.
Not one to give up on anything, Danyelle knew she still wanted to start a career to set herself up for the future. So she did a 360 pivot, found employment with a painting & decorating firm and enrolled in a BCITO apprenticeship which includes attending off-job training at Weltec once a year.
Painting might not seem like it has a lot in common with hairdressing, but Danyelle was drawn to it for the same reasons: she could focus on a project and see it from the beginning to completion, and get the endorphin hit of knowing she’s done a great job. Before she started her painting apprenticeship, she worked for a year on site full-time at Silk Holdings Ltd, where she continues to work to this day
Starting out in the programme, Danyelle already knew the basics of painting, but at WelTec she learned more tips and tricks to take her skills to the next level. Danyelle’s tutor was very helpful and she made good friendships with the people in her class quickly. Having been out of school for a while, Danyelle didn’t find the coursework too hard because everything was presented in such a straightforward and easy to understand way. Now, instead of colouring clients’ hair, she’s painting and finishing their homes - and she’s loving every minute of it!
Danyelle loves being able to see her finished work and she takes pride in knowing she’s responsible for how a house, a wall, or a door looks in the end. She wasn’t too worried about being a female in a trade, because during her time in the industry she’s found the people to be really friendly and genuine - the fact that she’s a woman in overalls hasn’t been a problem at all. Danyelle encourages anyone who’s interested in a career in painting to take the plunge (and if you don’t like it, you can change courses and careers on a dime like she did!). Ideally, she says you could get a full-time job that offers an apprenticeship where you can earn money while you learn – which is exactly what she did. She enjoys working on her own where she’s able to put on her headphones and concentrate on the work in front of her. She knows she still has a lot to learn, but Danyelle’s goal is to start her own painting business in 5 years.
Next year Danyelle is enrolled in the level 4 supervisors’ course at WelTec where she plan to take her skills to the next level. This way she’ll be on track to give back her skills and experience to people getting started in the industry, just like people she admires did for her when she was starting out.