Barber turns Builder


Hawera’s Anthony Prince has traded hair clippers and scissors for skills saws and hammers as one of the latest Māori Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) graduates to gain an apprenticeship.

Māori Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) provides scholarships and support for Māori and Pasifika learners to complete trades training aligned with pathways into trade careers. In Taranaki MPTT is coordinated by Taranaki Futures and all study takes place at WITT.

“Since MPTT has kicked off again in Taranaki in 2015 we’ve had over 102 students study at WITT through the programme, many of whom have gone onto employment or apprenticeships,” says General Manager Taranaki Futures Warwick Foy.

MPTT logo

Prince, of Soloman descent, originally trained as a barber but saw more opportunities in the building industry. He first heard about the MPTT programme from classmates at WITT. With a young family to support while he trained he found the scholarship and support invaluable.

“I could see there were more pathways with the transferable skills I could learn as a builder and working in the construction industry,” says Prince.

Prince studied carpentry at WITT in 2017 and has now secured a building apprenticeship with Clelands Construction. Clelands foreman Samuel Wiringi describes him as the ideal apprentice: “He is rated highly and is the perfect apprentice.”

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Prince likes putting his skills into practice and says he’s enjoying working.

“It’s hard work, which I like, and the people are really good. Lots of them have done the same course as me and know what it is like and can help and guide me,” says Prince.

Future plans for Prince include renovating his first home and moving up the property ladder.

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