New barbering qualification is met with excitement from both students and industry

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You don’t need to leave the region to become a barber any longer thanks to a new pathway into the industry that starts at WITT Te Pūkenga. Secondary students can now get a taste of what it takes to be a barber with the new barbering option that forms part of the Taranaki Trades Academy. The Trades Academy gives Taranaki secondary school students in years 11-13 a chance to sample industry training one-day a week at WITT Te Pūkenga alongside school.

From next year, these ākonga and other interested people can get a New Zealand Certificate in Barbering (level 4) and be working in the industry by the end of the year.

“Local barbers cheered when we announced we were creating a pathway to becoming a qualified barber here in Taranaki,” says WITT Te Pūkenga Hair and Beauty Lead Kirsty Ryan.

Previously aspiring barbers had to travel to Hamilton to gain a barbering qualification, but now they can stay local.

“Training people locally also means they are more likely to stay local and work too,” adds Kirsty.

The barbering qualification is taught by Ben Allen who has trained barbers in London and Auckland and is now sharing his knowledge with WITT ākonga.

“Ben has a passion for teaching and has a real talent for engaging with young people and imparting the soft skills that a good barber needs as well as the technical skills,” says Kirsty.

The popular Techniques in Barbering micro-credential will also be back next year. This is ideal for hairdressers who want to update their skills and anyone with an interest in barbering and beard maintenance.

The Trades Academy is designed to give Year 11, 12 and 13 Taranaki secondary students a taste of a trade alongside completing their NCEA qualifications at school. Ākonga attend WITT Te Pūkenga one day a week over several terms and can explore interests in hairdressing, beauty, cookery, automotive, engineering, agriculture, trades, social services, creative arts, broadcasting and more.

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