Vinnie Waiwai - Automotive Engineer Apprentice
What inspired you to study automotive trades?
It kind of came out of nowhere. I’ve always had a passion for cars and when I got my driver’s licence I grew a deeper appreciation for vehicles. Being able to drive immediately made me more valuable and opened up more work opportunities. I decided out of the blue that studying automotive trades would be a good challenge, so I just went for it!
What made you choose WelTec?
I’d heard automotive trades employers specifically seek WelTec graduates because they are taught the right skills, so it was a no brainer for me.
What was your study experience like?
I’ve always been a keen learner, so it was important to me that I gave studying my all. The tutors were friendly, knowledgeable, and always happy to answer my questions, but what really stood out to me was how good they were at reading the room and helping people who were stuck. Not everyone is comfortable raising their hand and asking for help, but the tutors made sure the whole class understood everything.
What role did the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Scholarship play in your study journey?
Not only did I not have to stress about money, but it was like a driving force behind my studies. Knowing that I was being invested in inspired me to keep going and achieve my goals.
MPTT recipients receive a wide range of support. The Tamaiti Whāngai team will support you with mentoring, goal setting, pastoral and cultural support, and you'll have the opportunity to get your drivers license, site safe and first aid certificates.
How did the Tamaiti Whāngai (Māori support) team support you?
The whānau support made a big difference. I sought a lot of guidance from them and they regularly checked in with me to make sure everything was ok. They also helped me a lot through COVID the lockdown – they sent me a basket of essential items which my whānau really appreciated.
Tell me about your role at Capital City Motors
I’m an Automotive Engineer Apprentice in the Ford Service Department. It’s my job to diagnose and repair any fault that a customer’s car might have and get it back out on the road – that’s my favourite part actually, seeing the smile on a customer’s face when we return their vehicle ready for the road again.
What would you say to someone considering studying automotive trades?
If you have the passion, go for it. You’ll find the path to get you where you want to be.
Study Automotive at WelTec
Learn in-demand skills from hands-on tutors with industry experience. Our automative programmes cater to all stages - if you're just starting out, or looking to upskill, we've got something for you.
Explore our programmes here.