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Saul Faafoe

At school in Samoa, Saul Faafoe particularly enjoyed woodwork and any classes that involved making things. He also loved working with family and friends on building projects.

However, it wasn’t until recently that he combined those interests into a career. “For about 10 years I was working two jobs, as a taxi driver and a benchtop maker and installer. But I always felt a pull to construction.”

Saul knew he needed to get proper skills and training in order to get into his dream career, so he enrolled to study carpentry at Ara Institute of Canterbury with the help of Pacific Trades Training which subsidised his fees.

Now, Saul is a qualified carpenter working at Hi Spec Homes in Christchurch. He got the job after completing his Certificate in Carpentry. “Getting work straight away was an absolute highlight,” he says. “The practical skills I learned made transitioning into work easy and I felt more than capable on my first day in the job.”

Saul would love to see more Pacific people get a trade. “I encourage our people to use Pacific Trades Training at Ara to get a practical qualification and become industry-ready. You can either use your qualification straight away like I did, or have it as a back-up to sport or some other career choice.”