Strengths & Results

We are often asked the question as a hair educator, ‘what are your strengths and how do you measure success?’

The strength question is impossible to answer without really first talking about why we’re passionate about delivering education in the hair industry. The hair industry has given us everything. Hairdressing been the cornerstone for multiple generations of my family, and it’s built the lives of the team and provided security and supported all our dreams.

We believe that every person who joins the industry deserves the same opportunity to be able to build amazing successful careers. And our goal is for anyone with a passion for hair to have the same opportunities our family has been so fortunate enough to have been afforded through access to incredible education and mentors, so that they can make their own dreams a reality.

In saying that, we try and do things a little differently than other RTO’s. Our apprentice builder program is fully digital, and includes an industry first apprentice video assessment upload capability. We have an online education presence unrivaled in formal training.

MIG’s YouTube channel has a million views, and over 10,000 subscribers. We publish content and education thought leadership by our industry media and our social platforms in order to try and attract the next best and brightest.

But how do we measure success, we measure it by our results. We’re blessed to be working with Australian Apprentice of the Year Paige Cameron from Cobelle Creative. We work closely with Queensland Hairdresser of the Year Amy Gaudie training her Urban Chic team. We’ve qualified 3000 industry professionals over the past 30 years. And we’ve twice been education organisation of the year finalist, once at Hair Expo and once at the Australian Hair Industry Awards.

At MIG, we work with many great salons and barbershops to train their people. We’d love to be your trusted education partner. And if you’d like to find out how we can work with you, it would be great to connect. Thank you.

What Constitutes Training?

What Constitutes Training?

Let’s talk about training and particularly training in the apprenticeship context. Training can come in many forms. Most commonly students think training is when one on one training happens, but this is really only one form. So let’s break it down shall we because there are six official forms of training.

Firstly, face to face training with your RTO. And this can be attending college but it can also be when college comes to the salon or barber shop for training either on models or theory session.

Secondly, telephone or zoom meetings with your RTO. And this type of training can be as simple as a checking call, or it could be a zoom meeting to work on underpinning knowledge or to track progress. At MIG, we developed some great skills during the COVID lockdown period with this.

Thirdly, working with your in-salon supervisor or your mentor in the barber shop is really important because it helps to build those practical skills, work on speed and timing.

 Practice, number four, practices is king. Practicing your skills on models and clients helps to embed the skills that you’ve learnt either at college or in salon. 

Observation, this is a common form of training but observation is one of those things that really helps you to understand industry and how it works. When you’re watching how your senior barbers and hairdressers communicate and work with their clients it helps to make sense of everything there is in the world of training.

And finally, theory, not everybody’s cup of tea but every part of the Certificate III in either hairdressing or barbering has a theory component. So understanding the underpinning knowledge that goes with all the practical skills helps to build confidence moving forward in your career.

 At MIG, we work with many household names in hairdressing, to work on the capacity and the technical skills of their people. We’d love to connect with you and to work with you to help you build great skills within your team and to put in place great training structures that work.

 The thing that we say to every one of our students though, as they work through this process, and develop the skills to become great hairdressers is to:  Be Creative, Have Fun, and Dare to be different.

Understanding the Apprenticeship System

Understanding the Apprenticeship System

So you’re looking to put on an apprentice? For many employers, it’s either their first foray into the apprenticeship world or the first sign up for a number of years, and as such, getting your head around the system can be confusing and a little daunting. But a little knowledge goes a long way and understanding the system prior to recruitment can really help in attracting quality people. So who’s who in the zoo.

All things apprenticeships are managed on behalf of the federal government by the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, or AASN for short. This network is made up of a number of companies or providers whose role it is to be the first point of contact for all things apprenticeships. These providers include names such as Busy at Work, MEGT, Sarina, Russo, Job Access and Apprenticeship Support Australia. And the support they provide really follows the apprenticeship journey from cradle to grave.  There’s a number of steps a salon needs to take to bring on an apprentice. And they are, step one, contact your essence that operates in your state who can help with initial funding eligibility assessment, and may may even provide some advice on how to structure and how to recruit.

Step two, once you’ve recruited your new team member, the next step is to arrange for that same AASN to come and complete the apprenticeship contract sign up.  The contract is legally binding so if your apprentice is under the age of 16, you’ll probably need a parent or guardian there to help.

Step three, as part of the sign up, you’ll be asked to nominate a Registered Training Organisation to deliver the off the job or formal training. The apprenticeship support provider will provide you with a list of all the RTO’s available, including both TAFE and private college options.

Step four, the AASN will notify the RTO that they’ve been nominated to deliver, and that will set the wheels in motion for your nominated RTO to work with you to develop a training plan that encompasses all the training and assessment and how it will be conducted. Importantly, for first time apprentice employers, it’s really important to understand that the training and assessment provided by your college can be tailored to suit your needs, and the program isn’t just dictated by how they want to deliver.

Step five, the responsibility for training is a three way partnership, which includes salon owner, apprentice and RTO. And so as the employer, it’s really important that you understand your obligations as part of that partnership. And these obligations are really referenced in that contract that you signed early in the piece. But the important items to be across from an employer perspective are: paid training time obligations, apprentice supervision obligations, the range of work that needs to be provided to the apprentice, and finally pay progression for the apprentice over the duration of their apprenticeship.

Once you’re across all these things, and a training plans in place with the RTO and they’re progressing and moving through their training, the Australian apprenticeship support providers role then is to help facilitate any Commonwealth incentives and benefits that the salon owners entitled to. At a basic level, this will include incentives within three to six months of commencement, and then incentives at completion. Employing an apprentices is an investment in the future sustainability of your salon and the industry. And as we’ve talked about, there’s really four people involved, the employer, the apprentice, the RTO, and the government AASN. And whilst it can be confusing at first, each play a role in the apprenticeship journey. Close relationships between the AASN and RTO and the employer means that there’s a step by step process that will run smoothly and your salon will take advantage of the incredible opportunity and available funding that there is through the apprenticeship pathway.

At MIG, we work with many great names in hairdressing to help train and educate their staff. We’d love to connect with you, to be able to help you on your apprenticeship journey.

Fast Track Programs, An Alternative Pathway

Fast Track Programs, An Alternative Pathway

I would like to talk to you a little bit about fast track or college based courses. One of the greatest challenges we face as an industry and as educators is in attracting quality people who will sustain our industry moving forward. And whilst the apprenticeship continues to be the bedrock, quality institutional pathways are a viable alternative for attracting new people to our industry. Historically, the college based or fast track option has not necessarily been considered the equal of the apprenticeship. But the demand for greater flexibility from those looking to join our industry has underpinned the popularity of these programs. 

The advantages of this alternative pathway numerous.  Firstly, it attracts individuals that otherwise might have been lost to the trade, in particular mature aged people who are looking at a change of career. It also opens the door for school leavers who may not be ready to access an apprenticeship at that time. Secondly, employing those who already have a level of exposure and a demonstrated commitment to the trade helps to address the incredibly high cancellation rate that’s often associated with new entrants. And finally, those who have access quality training and are ready to hit the ground running are well placed to be productive from the outset. They’ve made a considerable personal investment in their own training. And this helps to reduce the substantial education and training commitment that’s required by salons.

There’s no better way to get a feel for those who are attracted to the college based pathway than to follow the journey of one of our recent graduates. Abi Donaldson completed her Cert III in Hairdressing at MIG, and has been kind enough to allow us to share her story. Abi grew up on a little hobby farm halfway between Warwick and Stanthope. And the plan for Abi was always to get to uni after school but the closer she got to finishing school, the more she was confused about which direction to head. She was incredibly successful academically, but she wanted a career that she could take anywhere she went. She really loved living in the country so it was also something that she loved to do there. Her mum was an artist so she grew up in an environment that fostered creativity. So when someone suggested hairdressing, Abi decided to have a really close look at this career path. On deciding on hair Abi chose to complete the college based or fast track program, as opposed to going into an apprenticeship.  Primarily because it allowed her to work at her own pace, and to advance according to her skills. And I think also, she was really unsure about how she’d be treated in a salon environment, straight out of school.

The college program develops great foundation and basic hairdressing skills, which can then be built on in the salon environment. And for Abi with this underlying knowledge, it was a really smooth transition into the salon, when she got there on a part time basis, while she was finishing the course. She really enjoyed the college environment, working with multiple trainers, and picking up bits and pieces from everybody and exposing yourself to a diverse range of ways of doing things that she may not have seen directly in the salon. The lesson from Abi’s story is that there’s a number of paths available to enter the industry and the choices, I suppose is incredibly important in order for us to continue to attract great people like Abi. At MIG we work with many household names in hairdressing to build their teams capacity and technical skills. By understanding your business we can help provide advice, connection to services and invariably help you to leverage your greatest asset which is your people.


In-salon Educator Support

In-salon Educator Support

I thought I’d share something that’s been an important part of our education offering for salons for a number of years. Critically in working with salons to educate their teams over many years, we’ve identified a key area that lacks support. That is that there is little in the way of education for salon owners, seniors and mentors in how to train and develop their apprentices. As a Registered Training Organisation, at MIG were really well placed to see the success of salons that have a strong internal culture and a systematic way that they practically skills train their staff.

Conversely, we also see the impact that time pressures, staffing issues and the strains that are placed on running salon business has on building productivity, and a training culture. In response, as part of our apprentice builder education package, MIG exclusively offers our salon clients and barbershops a blend of hands on workshops and video tutorials for the in-salon trainers who are in charge of building the skills of their teams. The aim of this part of our apprentice builder program is to refine the training skills in cutting of those salon managers and in salon trainers, and to also share a few trends and tricks so that they can keep ahead of the education game and produce outstanding results. The program was introduced as an additional service to the salon clients we work with, but it also really extends the MIG apprenticeship training methods through the whole salon so that it helps with consistency and a really fluid outcome in the business. Our observations with the salon clients over the years have indicated that they’re so busy training their salon teams that they often forget about themselves. So this professional development helps to go a step towards that as well. And at MIG we greatly value the relationships we have with our salon clients so we’re proud that apart from the cost of the head block the program is absolutely free for MIG salons and the program is for all in-salon trainers, mentors and seniors who are responsible for building the skills of their emerging stylists.

Currently included in the program is the fundamental building blocks that make up the craft of cutting so solid, layers and graduation. And these are presented in one of three full day workshops at MIG Training. The participants also receive full access to the MIG employers lounge which includes a suite of online education tools, including videos, glossy learner guides and step by step learning resources. I suppose the exciting part for MIG is that we’ve only really scratched the surface with what we can add value to beyond delivering apprenticeship training. So filming is well underway on a comprehensive suite of resources that will expand from the fundamentals of cutting through to colour.  Plans are also afford to continue to develop the program to include a lot more in the apprentice builder resources and workshops that will cover a series of contemporary and essential haircuts, which we’ll call the MIG collection. The support we offer our salon client educators covers a wide spectrum of the fundamentals and creative parts of hairdressing education, and help support and enhance the apprentice journey and the journey that they provide to the rest of their teams as well.

We’d love to be a trusted education partner with you. If you’d like to find out how we can work together it would be great to connect. Thank you.

Hair Education in Correctional Centres

Hair Education in Correctional Centres

I thought I’d share this story as it’s amazing where the hair education journey has taken us. Each year at MIG, we graduate approximately 150, hairdressers and barbers. And in that group, there’s a special number who’ve had to overcome the greatest of obstacles in order received the qualification. Twice a year at Southern Cross Correctional Facility MIG has a graduation ceremony. And this is for prisoners who’ve spent six months studying the Certificate to II Hairdressing.

The students graduate in front of proud family members prison, management, and hair industry representatives. SQCC commenced the hairdressing program in Queensland back in 2012, and we were only initially engaged in an advisory capacity. We then began to deliver workshops and support those to transition to work after release. We took over the program in 2015 and recruited an experienced educator in Rachel Monahan to lead for us. The Cert II in hairdressing is delivered two days a week over a six month period. The correctional facility operates a completely functioning salon within the prison and it’s fully booked and offers a wide range of services. For many, completing this program is their greatest achievement to date and a major step towards breaking the cycle of crime.

On a graduation day, MIG educator Rachel is often joined by Nicole from MIG and some amazing supporters from industry. Mikey Forster from Horsemeat Disco and Paula Hibbard the long hair guru have always donated their time to spend training and preparing the students for the ceremony. The program is also generously supported year round by their De Lorenzo and their lead educator Mel At the last graduation in a really touching moment and ex prisoner spoke to the students about how the hairdressing program had saved her from a life of drugs, prostitution and crime and how the hair industry was non discriminatory and willing to give people a go.  

At MIG, we’re really proud to be part of such a valuable and beneficial initiative. The hairdressing community are accepting and willing to give people a second chance and I think this is what makes the program so powerful. The students have a very real opportunity to work in hairdressing upon being released, and to find a life away from crime. The joy for us is in seeing a person with a passion for the trade that’s ignited and then a great sense of accomplishment comes from completing something at one of the most difficult periods in their lives. I mean, it just goes to show that the hair journeys as diverse as it is exciting. And as an industry, we’re all doing a little bit for the community.

Thank you.