Education in the Digital Age

Hi, how are you going? Anthony from MIG Training. The modern barber and hairdressing apprentice has access to an incredible volume of hairdressing content and education that’s beyond the comprehension of apprentices of less than generation ago. This raises the question, particularly for us of how to best access and filter that content, and how to use it to enhance the education journey and avoid the pitfalls that are associated with disappearing down the rabbit hole that is the internet.

The benefits of platforms such as YouTube, and Instagram, comes from watching those online education and absorbing those resources. It works really well with apprentices who are at the same skill point as the type of content that they’re consuming. From a training perspective, we see that this can often turbo charge and really enhance the learning experience. In addition to that, though, the recurring theme from all the apprentices that we work with is how they like to access and use that content can be quite individual. And to this end our college approach has a number of layers in order to allow them to do that. The apprentices and students we train are asked to watch technical videos, they’re asked to go to our YouTube channel as well as engage with other similar online content and then we bring that into our education spaces.

Our training rooms have large screen so that the content can be viewed in a practical learning environment. So once our visual and auditory learners are able to engage this way, we can then quickly move to a demonstration phase, which then moves on to getting in having a go. As a college we’ve had great success with hands on training that blends both digital and practical and the students that we work with love this approach. The beauty of a blended approach to, in developing skills is that it allows the apprentice to take a little bit more control of their learning, in line with how they engage and use the online world. Students can look to be prepared before class if they want. Or alternatively they can revisit online materials after attending to refresh or consolidate. It allows them, particularly those with a greater passion for a particular area to gain greater exposure, to drill down and dig deep into areas that they really are passionate about.

Conversely, those areas where potentially their salons don’t do a great deal of work, they can also consolidate their skills. Another upshot that weve found with embracing digital content is the capacity for us to engage more with salons, to provide them with resources, so that they can build the training capacity of their teams. And what it allows us to do is to create resources that focus and meet the needs of their teams and to demystify what we do at college. This combined with hands on workshops for salon owners and mentors has been a real bonus for us and it means that we have a consistent and really dovetail relationship with the salons that we work with. While the world of online hairdressing education is limitless, and it can be all consuming. The clear message from those that we train and from the salons that we work with, is that a blended approach to education is the key. So accessing online resources that are combined with hands on demonstration and practice is what quality education looks like the digital age.

At MIG, we work with many household names in hairdressing and we work with them to build capacity of their teams and their technical skills. If you’re looking at different opportunities, or would like to contact us to see how we can provide advice, or potentially work together, it’d be wonderful chat, give us a call. Thanks.

A Qualification – Does it Matter?

Hi, Anthony from MIG.  It might surprise many, that in a number of states, across the country, a qualification at the trade level is not something that’s required to own or operate a salon or barbershop.  As an industry, we’re often justifiably concerned with the damage that can be caused by dodgy operators that may have only just completed enough training to be dangerous. And while we might lament the lack of regulation that allows those without qualification to operate within the industry, a closer examination of the people who don’t have formal qualifications paints a slightly different story.

While the reasons are wide varied, the family nature of hairdressing means that often skills are passed down or developed on the job without the need for formal qualification. And in addition to this, the international and cosmopolitan nature of our trade means that many of our hairdresses don’t hold qualifications that are Australian but hold qualifications from Europe, Asia, or even the Americas. So does it matter?  In real terms, I suppose the answer is probably not. You can forge a career without an Australian certificate. But I think the benefits of holding that piece of paper are quite significant.  At a basic level, many salons will require you to have that qualification, just from a public liability or a business insurance perspective. And critically, qualifications are required in order to train apprentices. So without a Certificate III in Hairdressing, you may not be able to meet the government requirements in relation to supervision and mentoring of apprentices. So this can effectively restrict the access to government funding that’s available for bringing on staff and training. In addition, I suppose the strength and the esteem that the Australian qualification is held in can open lots of doors, particularly when you’re looking at traveling overseas. Finally, career progression can be impacted. A lack of a qualification, means particularly in the education and training field, that it’s more difficult for you to to enter and become part of that system.

So what’s the plan?  If you or any of your colleagues are in that position, there’s a number of things you can do. Thankfully, it doesn’t mean going back to school and undertaking extensive training and assessment because it’s something that you’re doing every single day in your working life. The answer lies in seeking recognition for your skills and making sure that skills that you have match the skills in the training package.  Your local training provider, like ourselves, will call that a recognition process, or an RPL process. And whilst RPL can appear daunting at first, when you break it down, it’s basically just evidence gathering. A great RPL process gathers evidence in the most painless way possible and includes a number of really important elements. Initially, what we do is a self assessment. This helps the applicant or candidate understand what’s in the qualification, and then how your skills match up with that. Secondly, what we do is we have a competency conversation where we really sit down and we talk about all the knowledge that you might have gained over your career, and how that matches the training package. And whilst you know, it may not cover all the technical words that are in the training packages, it really shows that you know, your craft. Thirdly, practical observation, observing you in the salon, observing you in the barber shop, in your own natural environment, so that we can make sure that the skills match those practical skills required. Then we ask for endorsement, we talk to the people that that you work with, we talk to your managers, supervisors, and other references, and we make sure that we can get a gauge of where you sit from a career perspective.

Sounds easy. Yeah, right. I mean, the good news is, is that whilst it seems daunting, that’s really part of our day job. So smoothing the way, gathering all the evidence that I talked about, can be really done in a way that’s really quite painless and not quite as bad as potentially what you might think.  From a financial perspective, many of the local governments also have funding that’s available for recognition of prior learning. Gaining qualification for people with great skill is something that many governments are really keen to support.  Particularly in southeast Queensland there is funding available for the Trade Skills Assessment Gap which is able to fund both the RPL process and then also to fund any gap training that might happen after that.  At MIG we work with many household names in hairdressing looking to build their team’s capacity and their technical skills and RPL is just one of those ways that we can help many of the stylists that work in salon to really gain formal recognition for the skills and knowledge that they already hold.  If you’d like to talk to about how we can help with RPL and other training services it would be great to connect.  Give us a call.

Know Your Client

Know Your Client

The salons we work that do exceptional things, know their client particularly well. As a Salon, the challenge of building a client base can result in you attempting to grab every opportunity and attracting every possible person that comes past your door and the inherent fear is that if you focus on your ideal client, then you’ll let opportunities pass you by. The reality is, though, that being everything to everyone just dilutes your offering. Conversely, the closer you’re able to get to targeting your ideal client, the higher the perceived value of your services.

 Competition for clients is at an all-time high and attempting to compete across a broad range of potential services that are salon can offer only leads to a large number of average products and services that don’t provide an exceptional experience to anyone. The salons that have the greatest success have a myopic focus on their segment, they focus on a segment they’re passionate about and that they can provide a remarkable service to – and it’s a game changer. Delivering a remarkable service that people really value results in, then being able to charge a premium, and then being able to double down and offer even more value.

 The benefits of targeting a clearly defined niche are broad; firstly, it removes you from competing on price and invariably the race to the bottom that can happen when price becomes an issue. It allows you to focus on what you’re passionate about—your tribe—referral goes through the roof as a specialist provider and it results in exponential growth. Industry recognition is also an important aspect; if you’re recognised as an authority in the eyes of industry, then potential consumers see that value as well. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you can’t service those outside of your clearly defined niche. In the end, your target is not your market. If you’re renouned for meeting the needs of a clearly defined group of people, then you’ll attract clients from across the spectrum, based on the authority and value that you provide. In saying all that, getting a really clear handle on your niche isn’t easy. You need to ask targeted laser focus questions. You need to drill down, you need to say “who is that single person? What is my ideal client? Where do they live? How do they think? How do they behave?”

Secondly, are you able to truly deliver something remarkable to that person? Thirdly, do they have the capacity to pay a premium for the outcome that you want to provide? And finally, do you have an affinity for them? Do you have a passion for the services that these people require? A clear target is the foundation really on which everything is built in your business. Understanding everything there is to know about your ideal client means an understanding of their burning problems. A deep understanding then allows you to tailor truly remarkable products and services. In the end, it allows you to make a difference in people’s lives. For your business that allows you to build a loyal fan base that’s second to none. At MIG we work with many salons and see the fruits of their labor in relation to targeting and niching. We help them to educate their people.

 If you’d like to have the opportunity to talk about how we can help, we’d love to connect. Give us a call.

The Colour Wheel and Hair Colour

The Colour Wheel and Hair Colour

The colour wheel is basically a universal tool that doesn’t change. It’s used in graphic design, interior design, and hairdressers use it a little bit differently.


Why do we need to know the colour wheel? The colour wheel allows us to choose create and make colours. Also by knowing your colour wheel, you won’t be creating colours that you don’t want. So the first thing we’re going to jump into is we’re going to talk about the basics of the colour wheel.

The colour wheel is divided into two sections – the warm side and the cool side. When we talk about warm colours, think of the sun. So the sun warms you up. So the sun basically has three colours to it. They are red, orange, and yellow. So these sit on the warm side of the colour wheel.

The other side is cool colours. So think of the ocean. So the ocean typically has three colours in it. You see green, blue, and violet. These are things that are going to be cool. So they represent the cool side of the colour wheel.

What sits in the middle of the colour wheel is naturals, beiges or neutrals. These three words are what we describe as brown. So brown sits in the middle of the colour wheel. So remember, the colour wheel is broken up of warm, cool, and in the middle are neutrals.

So now you understand the warm, cool and middle colours of the colour wheel. We’re going to jump in and talk about primary colours.



There are three colours to primary colours they are red, yellow, and blue. They are the source of all other colours and they cannot be made by mixing other colours together. Once you have red, yellow and blue, you can make any other colour.



The next level is secondary colours. Now secondary colours are made by mixing a primary and another primary together. So on the colour wheel, you will find that you have orange and that sits right in between red and yellow. Red and yellow are a primary colour and when they mix together, they create orange. The next colour is green. So green sits right in the middle of blue and yellow. So when blue and yellow are mixed together, they create green. Then we’re dealing with violet hairdressers tend to use the term violet rather than purple. It just sounds nicer to our clients. Violet sits right in the middle of blue and red. So when you mix blue and red together you create violet or purple. These are your secondary colours. So they are orange, green, and violet.



Then the final tier is tertiary colours and a tertiary colours are made by mixing a primary and there neighbouring secondary colour together. There are six tertiary colours. We have yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet, and red- orange. Once we understand primary, secondary and tertiary colours, then the most important thing a hairdresser needs to know and what we commonly use the colour wheel for is neutralising colours.



Neutralising colours means mixing two colours together to cancel out a colour and create natural, neutral or brown. So when hairdressers are dealing with neutralising colours, we’re normally neutralising warmth that’s coming through on a client’s hair. Clients tend to always complain about brassy, gold or yellow. So hairdressers really need to know their neutralising colours.

So when we’re dealing with the colour yellow, we want to find the on the colour wheel and then you want to find the colour exactly opposite it. So when you find the yellow, you’re going to go down the colour wheel and the colour opposite that is called purple or violet. When you mix yellow and violet together, you create brown or neutral. This is what we mean by neutralising.

The next colour that you would have to deal with neutralising is orange. Orange is something that clients typically request to get rid of, and it’s probably one of the harder colours to remove. So when you find orange on the colour wheel, you need to go opposite the colour wheel and find that colour that sits right across from it and that colour is blue. So blue will get rid of orange. When you mix blue, and orange together, it will create neutral or brown.

Then the final colour that you want to try and neutralise or deal with is red. Now red is the warmest colour on the colour wheel, and the colour that is opposite red on the colour wheel is green. So when you mix red and green together, they cancel each other out or neutralise each other and they create brown.



There are some fun little tips and little memory games we have so that you can remember these things. So for yellow and violet, you want to think of the chocolate bar Violet Crumble. This is how you remember their their neutralising colours. The next one when you’re dealing with orange and blue, think of a sunset over the ocean,this is their neutralising colour. Then the last one is red and green think Christmas. These two colours are neutralising colours. Once you have a handle of this, it will make choosing a colour, selecting colours and dealing with unwanted tones so much easier.

And that’s the colour wheel.


Connecting with Generation Next

Connecting with Generation Next

Hi, Anthony from MIG Training. I want to talk to you today about how we attract the next generation of hairdressers – like an itch that you can’t scratch the quest for quality staff is the number one talking point across the industry. Whilst this problem is not a new one, the quests of filling hairdressing vacancies has peaked. In the many years that we’ve been working in the education space, the current state of play is at all-time levels.

To be honest, the extent and extraordinary and the impact that it’s having on salons and the wider hairdressing community is significant. Like all things in life, though, there’s no one root cause and blame can be apportioned to a number of factors, the way that we deliver and changing models of salon life. Also, the short term poses challenges to bridge the gap. The saying that “Necessity is the mother of invention” really holds true. The good news is that in addition to the tried and tested models of bringing people into the industry, there’s some creative options available to salon owners, and I’ll just run through a couple of those if I can.

As always, though, the common thread is, is relationships and building community relationships forms the basis of some of the best opportunities that are around to attract new staff. At the forefront of these opportunities is really access to the next generation of hairdressers through the school system. So by that I mean a growing number of salons who are taking advantage of the opportunity to connect with budding hairdressers via school based traineeships, or school based apprenticeships. This is where someone in year 11 or 12, will either complete a certificate II in salon assistant, or potentially complete up to 40% of their certificate III in hairdressing. It provides the perfect introduction to the trade.  In practice, students will often work one day a week in a salon during year 11 and 12 and build practical skills working in a team and progress through the formal qualification supported by an RTO like ourselves.

Outside of that, there’s some other creative options available. In addition to school based apprenticeships, a number of schools and colleges run vocational cert II programs. So we work in this space and we run a strong Industry focused program that incorporates a substantial industry placement component. This is a low cost option with a limited commitment required from students. Vocational placement provides the opportunity for salons to identify hairdressers that might be a good fit as well.  School based traineeships and vocational placement allow a salon to try before they buy. The natural progression for someone who’s a promising school based hairdresser is for them to then roll over into a full time or part time apprenticeship on the completion of school. So we’re capturing people early and giving them career options and pathways. Supporting these community relationships, the wider industry is also playing its part putting, hairdressers front and center.

The AHC, an organisation which we’re proud of a part of, recently partnered with schools road to target school leavers, parents and advisors. And their ‘choose hair’ message was a really powerful one. The skillsroad website, in fact, is actually an amazing resource and it’s a good one to have a look at, because it gives you insights into careers and options. Outside of that, there’s other new technologies that are also emerging to tap into new employees. Through the sharing economy for the most part piloroo run their 3 day salon assistant program. It captures a whole group of people that can then move into industry as salon assistants. And these are people that potentially would have been in other industries such as hospitality or retail. We also play an important role. So RTO’s are the other gatekeepers to for many new entrants in the industry. So a strong working relationship with your local colleges as a salon owner can be a great source of potential team members. And understanding of the employment options for those who complete fast track or fee paying courses can present opportunities that may otherwise not have been considered. And I suppose an open mind as well to mature age apprentices is something that’s really important.

Those who’ve completed their training through a college pathway can often be amazing, rewarding staff. The result is often that they’re highly motivated, they’re reliable, and they’re grateful for the opportunity to follow their dreams. Government incentives are an all-time high. Incentives for apprentices, job trainer incentives available now for certificate II in hairdressing is giving us opportunity to really grab this next generation. Competition in the job market is fierce for the best and brightest. People have a great range and ability to choose whatever they want to do. So building community relationships connecting with schools connecting with colleges, and directly to new entrants through emerging technology platforms provides us with an opportunity for a sustainable future in hairdressing and I think provides us with a clear pathway to attract the best and brightest. MIG work in this space on a daily basis are trying to attract the next generation. If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you with your education needs, it would be great to connect, give us a call. Thanks.