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.

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.