Inspiration to become a hairdresser was found close to home for New Plymouth Girls High School ākonga Kate Brooke whose aunty is a successful hairdresser, but Kate didn’t know if the field was right for her until she tried the STAR hair and beauty course at WITT Te Pūkenga when she was in Year 11.
“I knew school wasn’t for me but my parents said I had to have a plan before I could leave school,” says Kate.
Following the STAR taster programme in Year 11, Kate did the hairdressing Trades Academy course last year to confirm hairdressing was for her. This year she has completed the Level 3 programme full time and next year she will be back to work her way through the steps to become a qualified hairdresser.
She says she likes the transformative nature of hairdressing and is already learning the best way to show before and after pictures to highlight her work.
As well as her learning at WITT, Kate is also gaining work experience in a local salon thanks to an introduction from her WITT tutor Kellie Divane.
“I work at Hair by Kate once or twice a week and have learnt so much from Kate Garner, the owner,” she says.
This summer Kate will be getting a head start on her career by helping in the salon with the busy wedding season.
Tutor Kellie says: “I was really happy to help Kate pursue her dream of becoming a hairdresser, she’s a lovely person with great potential."
Kate credits her tutors with fostering her growth at WITT and her enjoyment of the hairdressing programme.
“I really like my tutors, they make it fun – I feel good in this environment,” says Kate.
They also support Kate in practical ways as she navigates tertiary study with dyslexia. They make simple changes like printing off her assessments on green paper to make them easier for her to read and Kate has access to reader-writers for assessments.
“You can get through the theory, you have to do the work and ask for help if you need it.”
If you, or someone you know, is interested in becoming a hairdresser enrolments are open now for the New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Level 3) starting in March next year.