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.

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.

Apprenticeship Incentives

Apprenticeship Incentives

The start of 2021 has seen an incredible upswing in the numbers of new apprenticeship signups that’s coming through the doors. We’re really hopeful, fingers crossed that the signs of national recovery are happening in 2021. That this growth will happen across the board and it will have a huge pipeline of hairdressers coming through the system. Fueling this demand is the incredible sums of money that is coming our way through the boosting apprenticeship commencement wage subsidy. It’s a $1.2 billion scheme and it’s designed to support businesses to take on new apprentices. The funding is for all trades, but in hairdressing and barbering I suppose it’s there to attract skilled workers that can act as the future building blocks of our industry.

In real terms, the boosting apprenticeship commencement wage subsidy means that a salon who engages an apprentice might be eligible for up to 50% of their wage. That’s a maximum $7000 a quarter, amazing figures. But that’s not all, there’s more funding as well.  We’ve been blessed for new entrants, with funded programs through the job trainer scheme. Job Trainer is a $1 billion dollar by funding partnership between federal and state government and it’s designed to provide low cost or fee free courses targeted at 17 to 25 year olds who are looking for work. So what does that mean for hairdressing, it really means Certificate II in Salon Assistant.

Traditionally Certificate II in Salon Assistant is the domain of school based trainees. But what it will offer is a fee free or low cost option for organizations to provide industry with new entrants who have some basic skills and can hit the ground running. While the following list isn’t exhaustive, the qualification includes the building blocks and the key elements of that qualification include a number of things. It includes salon procedures, includes an understanding of shampoo and basin, blow drying, reception and communication, being able to greet prepare clients, and then obviously, color application and massage.

The Cert II in Salon Assistant can provide a perfect introduction to the trade for an aspiring hairdresser. And it could also, in my mind help reduce the high rate of cancellation that can be the bain of a lot of salons. Successful completion of a pre-vocational programs such as Cert II helps to sift out those who are unsure if hairdressings for them.  Ideally, a strong industry based program run by a college like ourselves will incorporate lots of industry placement and that will allow salons to have a look at potential staff and invariably try before they buy. Because of the free nature of the Job Trainer program it provides industry an unprecedented opportunity to compete for new entrants with other careers. And for us it also helps us make the most of opportunities to deliver programs in college that exciting and contemporary.

Programs will need to be really focused on developing key soft skills and furthermore, ongoing success of Cert II programs only really works if your colleges align themselves really closely with salons. In the end, increasing the number of qualified salon assistants is pointless if salon owners are unwilling to take them on due to a lack of skill, and the lack of the ability to add value. So finding ways to make that happen is really important, particularly from a college perspective, in making the skills that they have really industry relevant. For salon owners looking to access those who completed the Job Trainer, qualification or engage with those who are undertaking qualifications as part of the program over the coming months, the best course of action is to contact your RTO like ourselves, as we obviously have a huge role to play in attracting new people to our industry.

With substantial government funding in place by the boost apprenticeship commencement wage subsidy, and the new entrant job training program, it’s the first sign of green shoots and new growth for the future of the industry in some time. The challenge for us is to excite and inspire those who’ve been newly attracted to industry. But above all, the challenge is to retain and nurture those people once they come so that they decide to stay.

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.