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.