Professionalism: The Standards That Matter

Professionalism: The Standards That Matter

Finding quality hairdressers and barbers is near on impossible at the minute and getting them to stay is even harder. In these uncertain times, it’s never been more critical to develop teams, culture, and a salon or barbershop that are profitable, can stand out and make an impact.

Our method for training teams and working with apprentices has four steps or four key principles. Firstly, design. So creating efficient systems so that you have the space to build and grow your team.

Secondly, professionalism. Setting and living the standards that matter to attract quality team members.

Thirdly, having technical skills that are really on point and a knowledge of hairdressing and the barber industry. That’s second to none.

Finally, communication. A clear identity of the business but also that of sharing ideas in a cohesive team.

Drilling into the principle of professionalism is one area where we really try and focus on when building teams and working with salons. Not only if you’re a professional in your environment, you attract a great clientele, but you also attract other hairdressers and barbers who want to live the standards you demonstrate and the way you carry yourself in industry. One key aspect of that professionalism when we start to deliver that training to teams and to apprentices is embracing sustainability.

At MIG we work with teams to educate and focus on being part of the solution. So showcasing best practice in sustainability, not only to their salons, but also to the broader industry and in the wider community at large.

We challenge apprentices to firstly identify resource use in their salon or barbershop to secondly seek opportunities to improve efficiencies in the way the salon does business. And then thirdly, we challenge teams to implement best practice in sustainability.

Awareness is key, and at MIG we also have leading partners we work with to showcase this best practice. We work very closely with sustainable Salons Australia. Sustainable Salons Australia has a network of collectors, recyclers, manufacturers and distributors to make sure that up to 95% of material from salons is diverted from landfill.

This is a wonderful story and a great way to showcase professionalism in the industry. Showcasing this best practice model helps to plant the seeds in the mind of the next generation of salon and barber shop owners as they move through their apprenticeship, with the view to make your industry one of the most professional and sustainable in the country.

If you’d like to understand more about our method, and how we develop professional barbers and hairdressers, it would be great to connect and talk to you about our principles.


The RTO’s Role

The RTO’s Role

When training an apprentice a strong working relationship with your training organisation is critical. Invariably, like all partnerships, there’s times when you need to work with your RTO to resolve issues that arise.

So I suppose understanding exactly what the RTO’s responsibility is, really helps with that. Particularly, because apprenticeships can be complicated. There’s competing priorities. There’s the priorities of the apprentice, the needs of the salon and then there’s also the requirements of the formal training package, which can be quite complicated at times. So again, the best advice would be really get to know exactly what your RTO’s role is, so that you can work with them to achieve the best outcomes. Namely, the RTO needs to conduct a workplace assessment and a plan with you.

So as an RTO, we will assess your capacity to supervise and train your apprentice. And that’s all around having people that are qualified inside the salon, but then also the resources and the time, and the rosters that help to make everything happen.

Secondly, we deliver training and assessment so we’ll negotiate and develop a training plan with yourself and your apprentice. Within that, there’ll be some strict timeframes, for full time apprentice is is 36 months.  We work to make sure that training and assessment of your apprentice happens over that duration. We talk about what the training costs will be, the funding implications, and then all the training and assessment requirements that come every step of the way.

Thirdly, we’ll manage progress. We do this by providing your apprentice and yourself with a training record. And that train record book sits within the salon and it shows that you’re regularly moving and completing your work as you go. We will regularly check that with you and then manage your training plan in unison with the training record to make sure that the progression is happening. We notify and work with you if the apprentice is not progressing fast enough.

Fourthly learning support. So if needed additional support, particularly for numeracy and literacy is something that we can really help with, or work with other support services to make that happen. Then there is completion, when it comes time to complete your apprentice, there’s a completion agreement that’s signed. Once all are agreed, and everybody says that the completion has happened, then we issue qualifications. Once those qualifications are in place, it means that your apprentice is now fully qualified and they can move about life as a senior hairdresser or barber in industry.

An amazing outcome and an amazing partnership between three parties over what can be a three, four or five year duration. At MIG we work with many leading names is the hairdressing and barber industry to walk through that process from cradle to grave of apprenticeships, to ensure that the industry has qualified seniors and really skilled technical people in the industry.

If you’d like to talk about how we deliver apprenticeship training, and how to train your team, it’d be wonderful to connect. Give a call. Thanks very much.


Is Your Apprentice Falling Behind?

Is Your Apprentice Falling Behind?


So your apprentice is falling behind, what should you do?

A full time hairdressing or barbering apprenticeship can be a really intense journey, with each apprentice having to complete 28 units in hairdressing and 26 units in barbering to complete their apprenticeship over the 36 months duration.

So when you take on an apprentice, you can experience issues and these can be with the apprentice or trainee themselves in relation to motivation and getting the job done. It could be with your supervising training organisation, or it could also be with the apprenticeship support network that helps you.

The key part to making sure that your apprentice stays on track is managing progression. This is a really important partnership between the apprentice, your training organisation and yourself. But it’s important really to know that you have an obligation to put plans into place to manage progression, and if progression falls too far behind then you need to notify the education department to put mediative action into place.

In the difficult world of work and study, oftentimes things may need to be put in place and we recommend five key steps to make sure that when you’re sitting down with the apprentice, you get the right outcomes when you’re trying to manage progression.

Firstly, you need to identify the issue. So you need to really work out exactly what the issue is. Express it in words, so that you can make it something that’s solvable. And I suppose focusing on the issue, and not the emotion is the most important tip that we’ve seen from our experience.

Secondly, identify what’s causing the issue. So who or what or how are things contributing to that, who’s being affected and what are the consequences. I suppose the best tip that we have is to listen without judgment, and brainstorm solutions with the apprentice and all parties.

Thirdly, make a list of all the possible solutions that you could go for, you could look at a range of possibilities that are both sensible and some that aren’t. But by doing that, you will avoid judgment, and you can debate all the ways that you could possibly move forward

Fourthly, choose a solution. So look at the solutions in turn, assess them all positives and negatives, and choose one that’s right for you. So that you can put it into practice and you can solve the issue. Consult with others, and plan the details. Once you’ve agreed on that plan, put it into play and ask these questions. Who’s going to do what and when you will do it by and finally, what is needed to put the solution into action.

Finally, once you put a solution into managing the progression of your apprentice to get them back on track, after a reasonable period of time, you need to evaluate that solution. So you’ll need to give it time you’ll need to let it work through, you’ll need everyone to be able to settle into their place.

To evaluate it you can again go through a series of questions. What’s worked well, what hasn’t worked well, and what could be done differently to improve it. It’s important to note that this partnership and communication are really important, balancing work and study is a difficult thing for many apprentices. It has its ups and downs over a long period of time, which can be three plus years of apprenticeship.

At MIG, we work really closely with many salons to help them manage the ups and downs of the apprenticeship and we’d love to work with you. If you’d like to reach out and discuss how we can help to build your signatures salon team and work to create happier harmonious staff that are completing their apprenticeship on time.

Give us a call. Thank you.

Strengths & Results

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.

The MIG Method

The MIG Method

I just like to talk to you a bit about our principles and method for education.
What we feel makes us unique is that we have a set of education principles that recognize the burning issues and problems that our salons and barbershops face. We work with these boutique businesses to really help them deliver a profitable business that provides them with peace of mind through their people. We call this their “Signature Salon Team.”

Many of our clients feel that they’re working tirelessly for little reward and ever increasing worry and they really face three common problems; firstly, uncertainty in finding and retaining quality hairdressers and barbers. Secondly, sleepless nights that are associated with having a team that’s not functioning quite right. And finally burnout from juggling all the balls at once, as an owner, stylist, marketer, counselor and financial controller. So the prize that our clients are seeking is profit, peace of mind and above all that their salon or barbershop is an expression of their personality in essence to create this signature salon team.

At MIG, our signature salon method has four principles that we think are really important and helps our clients to stand out, make an impact and grow their business. These elements are: design, professionalism, technical skills, and communication. So, having efficient systems, creates the space to build your team and are a critical design element. Being professional sets the standard. Living that standard attracts quality people, quality clients and industry recognition. Technical skills, team knowledge and skills that are on point creates a team that can take on any new challenge that’s put in front of it. And finally communication, having a clear identity. Sharing of those ideas creates a cohesive team and creates industry recognition.

At MIG, we use the four step signature salon method in our flagship apprentice builder program, and it really turns the Certificate III on its head. Understanding the problems and the prize helps us to build a program that meets all the needs of our salons that we work with. The apprentice builder program provides customised in-salon training plans. They provide Salon supervisor coaching and mentoring. It sets the standard for the individual apprentice to follow, but also provides a gateway to industry through our education partners. It has a strong technical skills focus, but one that deals with culture, communication and consultation.

We do this in an anywhere anytime digital learning and assessment platform, which then combines the practical hands on skills education. We have dedicated mentors, as well as formal progression and skills accountability, and above all access to a community apprentices and peer support that’s second to none. We work with many great names in hairdressing. We’d love to connect with your business to be able to help you create your signature salon team. And as we say to all of our students each and every day, Be Brave, Have Fun, Dare to Be Different.

RTO Select: The Gold Standard in Education

RTO Select: The Gold Standard in Education

Once you’ve recruited an apprentice, one of the first decisions that you need to make is which RTO to partner with. And this partnership is really important, as quality training can mean the difference between a profitable team member and someone who’s struggling or underperforming in the workplace. And whilst the considerations are many, one way to feel confident about your choice of training provider is to look at the accreditation system that’s really quite unique to the hair industry.

The Australian Hairdressing Council or AHC, through its RTO Select accreditation process benchmarks quality RTO’s against the gold standard of hairdressing training. RTO Select recognises quality education and really provides a signpost for employers so that they can feel comfortable that the RTO that they’ve chosen is one of the very best in the country. The AHC has has a membership of salons, product companies, RTO’s, individuals, and associated industry suppliers.  And they all share a united vision to promote and protect the industry.

That’s really based around four key central pillars. It’s about:  Education – so raising industry standards, Connection -or bringing us all together, Informing -being that voice to government and Supporting – providing HR support and other types of support to help build and grow small business. Out of this RTO select was born. And it’s a set of 7 standards that an RTO must reach in order to be accredited. And these standards have been developed ostensibly by salon owners in the end for salon owners to help them to make their decisions.

Standard 1 is education leadership and this standard looks to ensure RTO’s have a business strategy, a vision and a mission that’s aligned to the industry.

Standard 2 is recognition, so does the RTO provide recognition of in-salon, product company and other prior training in that process of educating an apprentice?

Standard 3, communication and engagement. So quality communication with salons and apprentices is key to great training, and systematic and ongoing engagement with the hair industry is equally as important.

Standard 4 is all around training and assessment resources. Is the RTO’s resources current and engaging and do they relate to the salon experience?

Standard 5, currency of trainers. A top level hairdressing trainer will have great skills in their trade, but that will also be combined with vocational knowledge that’s really important.

Standard 6 is around salon design, operation and clients. So is the college designed for high end professional training and does it provide a real salon experience.

Finally, standard 7 is environmental and social responsibility, the college needs to actively support awareness and participate in environmental sustainability, both at the college and also in the industry. So the next generation can take our lead and build a sustainable industry. As an education business to be recognised as gold standard by the industry, you train is the highest accolade you can hope for.

MIG is one of 17 registered training organisations in the country that have that gold star of RTO Select. We’ve been RTO Select for the past seven years since its inception and we really proudly display this accreditation in all our digital media and even on the glasses you come into the college. The AHC and RTO Select are closely aligned to what we value the most which is, to grow an industry with that has given us so much. But most importantly, it’s about enjoying the journey as well.

As we say to all our students each day, Be Creative, Have Fun, and Dare To Be Different.