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.

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.

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.

Distance Education

Distance Education

I wanted to share the education story of one of the incredible salons we work with.  Commitment to education, growth and learning can be a challenge when you’re trying to grow a business and it’s something to be admired when you see it done well. In particular, those that structure daily habits to foster that ongoing education and growth. Sage Hair embodies all of these things. Based in Longreach in central western Queensland, Sage is approximately 1200 kilometers from Brisbane, where we’re based.   Longreach is a rural community of around 3000 people and Sage is a vibrant, modern up market salon offering, with an amazing culture and environment where guests love the visit. It’s established by Casey Kent, an award winning stylist herself and Sage provides a guest experience that’s unrivaled in the region.  The cornerstone of this is their commitment to education and training of the entire team. 

Casey is incredibly clear on the power investing in the team. I think that’s born from her apprenticeship, where she trained with some upmarket salons in Rockhampton. The commitments no more evident than in lengths that the salon goes to with their most recent apprentices. Jacinta and Lily, access the very best education they can.  Casey’s empowered both of them to research and take control of their training, to find the college that best suits their needs. Lily’s recently graduated, but both the girls have made the 2 500 kilometer round trip to MIG on a regular basis. This quarterly trip to college includes rising at sunrise on a Sunday, catching a flight from Longreach to Barcaldine, waiting for a connecting 3 hour flight from Barcaldine to Brisbane, staying with relatives once they get here, and usually spending a whole week at MIG, to develop, be assessed and create new skills. Between visits, they stay connected by working through our online portal, and then they meet with their MIG trainer regularly via zoom.

Being prepared to invest in their own careers, and understanding the value of education are some of the traits that ensure that both just Jacinta and Lily are off to a stellar start in the hairdressing careers.  By investing in themselves both of them have received support in kind from Casey and the team at Sage Hair. Casey believes there’s no boundaries to accessing quality education and training, regardless of location, or size and scope of the salon. And I suppose that positive culture and environment really rubs off on the two girls.  By traveling and being away, both Jacinta and Lily are able to immerse themselves in their education and create networks with other emerging stylists from all over the state. Inspiration and techniques they get they are then able to bring these back to the salon to help and to inspire the team, and that supports the ongoing investment Sage have made. 

While it is too often the catch cry that the current generation of emerging stylists aren’t prepared to invest in themselves and that they won’t go to the links necessary to build a career, Jacinta and Lily are evidence that this isn’t the case. 

At MIG, we work with many household names in hairdressing to build their teams capacity and technical skills. We’d love to work with you and if you’d like to explore how that can happen, and provide advice on how we can leverage your greatest asset, which is your people. It’d be great to have a chat. Thank you.

Excellence in Education

Excellence in Education

As we move into the award season, with the Australian hair industry awards, and the Australian Fashion Awards, it’s an important time to reflect, particularly on what excellence in education really looks like and how it can serve industry better.  Excellence in education and service to our industry is importantly recognized alongside business and creative award categories and some of the greatest names in hairdressing education have taken out these awards over the years. The honour roll reads like a who’s who, Sharon Blain Education, Dario Cotroneo Education, BIBA Academy and Sevilles are just a few of the names that have taken out these awards over time.

So I suppose for me as a training business, we reflect on what these education businesses have in common and what are the benchmarks that we need to exceed and reach to be the very best in hairdressing education. For me, in such a creative and focused progressive industry, moving forward and staying current is the critical thing. We see the best of breed educators are those who are able to reflect on what they are currently doing, outline a range of activities that they’re undertaking that challenges the norms and keeps pace with industry. There’s some real key touch points to cover if you’re going to be the best of breed in education.  You need a progressive calendar. You need to have marketing and branding that attracts the next generation.  You need to have a philosophy and teaching concept that second to none. You need to work on feedback and industry engagement from all parties and you need to develop really strong plans for your trainers to keep them up to date and current. And I suppose supporting young learners beyond just the formal training, so that they can grow as people as well to grow into our industry. I think finally contributing to industry growth and sustainability is important. Everything that you do as an educator needs to be looked at through the lens of what is best for industry.

Importantly, there are some frameworks out there that that we really admire and love to be part of.  We are a member of the Australian Hairdressing Council, and the Australian Hairdressing Council recognizes excellence in education through its RTO Select platform.  RTO Select is amazing because it looks education leaders, it looks at industry engagement and communication. It looks at training and assessment resources, and it also looks at currency of educators, as well as college salon design including those things that are so critical, which are environmental and social responsibilities. Having benchmarks like that helps us to achieve great things in training. And it helps us to keep ourselves connected with everything that’s happening in salons daily and with the barbershops that we look after. We’ll be entering the awards this year like many others, as always trying to benchmark ourselves and do the very best we can.

If you’d like to talk about ways that we can potentially work together or advice on training arrangements. We’d love to connect. MIG training is committed to working as best we can to provide excellence in education.