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20 August, 2021

Hairdressing apprentices wanted

IT’S a career that can take you far and wide. A career always in demand, and currently a career where there are not enough qualified professionals.

By Peter McCullagh

It’s a career that can take you far and wide. A career always in demand, and currently a career where there are not enough qualified professionals.

Hairdressers are more than just cheerful people who cut hair and ask “how’s your day is going?”

A skilled hairdresser makes us feel and look good. They hear our problems, never judging us.

They suggest a look, they even cut to order, based on the latest celebrity style, but more than that, hairdressers have been and will always be an important part of everyone’s life, and will always be the person we call upon before a special event to work their magic and make us look good.

Just Cuts Cairns Central has taken on their first apprentice and joined the Just Cuts Queensland hairdressing apprenticeship program, as they work to address the persistent local skills shortage.

Carla Odell has owned her salon for 25 years, and says she signed up to the new apprenticeship program due to the pressure COVID-19 has placed on local recruiting for her small business.

“Recruitment prospects have been bleak, and we need to turn things around,” said Ms Odell.

“For years a large portion of my fully qualified Senior Stylists were from interstate, but COVID has kept shutting the borders, so I’ve signed up to the new apprenticeship program to start training.”

Newly appointed apprentice Jessie Kitchener is enjoying her new career.

“I love it. I wanted a career that would always be there.

“I had spent 3 to 4 years working in retail, but always wanted to be a hairdresser,” Ms Kitchener said.

In the coming months, Just Cuts are looking to recruit multiple apprentices at each of the 4 Cairns salons and are always looking to hire any fully qualified hairdressers
in Cairns.

“We’re happy to help any young people learn and grow in our industry,” said Carla. “This is new for me too, as Just Cuts only employ fully qualified Stylists.

“I’m looking to take on a second apprentice later this year - we need to start training local talent to turn this persistent skill shortage around.”

“If every Cairns salon can take apprentices, we can reverse the trend as hairdressing is a lifelong job.

Four of my Stylists have been with me for over two decades – you can’t get your hair cut online.”

Apprentices spend 4 days a week in salon with both full time and part time options available. Carla says young school leavers this year should consider the apprenticeship program.

“Apprenticeships used to be long and boring, but our program is only 2 years and packed with education, plus apprentices will be learning and practising their cutting skills in the first year.”

“Just Cuts apprentices won’t just do floor cleaning, we provide hands on experience around front desk, customer management and shampooing plus they get to see experienced Stylists in action.”

Due to the ongoing national hairdressing skills shortage, apprentices will receive $1,000 after completing 12 months of the scheme, and a further $1,000 at the completion of the course.


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