Piripi started his journey with WelTec with a vocational pathways programme, where his passion was sparked after a taster in Hairdressing. Two years ago, he graduated his Hairdressing programme and found a job at a local salon.
Currently working at Vivo in Wellington, Piripi is a third year apprentice, and he loves being able to study while making money to support himself at the same time. He’ll be a fully qualified hairdresser next year in March. The thing he loves most about hairdressing is the cutting because he finds it more of a mental challenge – because if you make a mistake in a cut, everyone can see it! In his opinion, colour is just easier to do.
Piripi left school early and had never thought much about a career in hairdressing. Then he started the Vocational Pathways course at WelTec where his tutor got him to do a full service blow-wave treatment on one of the girls in his class. He saw the effect it had on his friend – he had made her day. It was this pride he felt about changing someone’s day by making them feel better about themselves that kept him in the hairdressing programme. He ended up doing a second year at WelTec under a Māori Pasifika Scholarship (MPTT). During this time, he made incredible connections with his tutors and the Māori Pacific support group. The Māori Pacific support group even helped him get his Learner driverslicence! The learning environment was both creative and support which helped him get further in the course.
WelTec’s hands-on course work helped him land a job when he graduated - especially the foundations of cutting component where he worked on live models. His favorite part of the job is interacting with clients and the buzz he gets after doing a great job. In the next 5 years, he wants to take his skills around New Zealand and then come back here and help future stylists follow their dreams too. His advice for aspiring hairdressers is to ask for help when you need it. “If you need the support, just ask for it.”