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ACT hair industry stays sharp through TAFE NSW

TAFE NSW Queanbeyan

ACT hair industry stays sharp through TAFE NSW

It’s well known many Canberrans migrate to the NSW coast for their annual holidays, but a migration of a different kind is gaining momentum as ACT businesses find favour in training at TAFE NSW.

Some of the biggest names in Canberra’s hair salons have partnered with TAFE NSW to enhance the skills of their workforce. It’s a timely transition with the number of hairdressers expected to grow from 54,000 to 58,000 nationally over the next three years according to the National Industry and Skills Commission.

Despite owning businesses in the nation’s capital, Roji’s Jason Hartwick, Sassy Hair’s Rebecca Guymer and Phillip Thacker from Loop are advocates of how TAFE NSW does business with businesses. The point of difference driving the cross-border arrangement is what TAFE NSW hairdressing teacher Mark Cole described simply as flexibility.

Mr Cole said the way TAFE NSW delivered training had evolved as businesses had evolved. “I work in industry every week. I’m a member of the Australian Barbering Association and a member of the Australian Hairdressing Council.

“I’ve been in the industry for 40 years and I know things change frequently, it’s about keeping current with trends. TAFE NSW is successfully tailoring our course delivery to meet specific industry and employer needs.

“We train staff at some of the ACT’s most respected, professional and busy salons. Their owners treat training as an integral part of their business. It must be efficient and it must dovetail with their operations.”

Jason Hartwig owns one of Canberra’s leading salons, Roji Hair Salon. He said it was the confidence in the teaching and the trouble-free flexibility that helped convince him to move his training across the border to TAFE NSW. He has two apprentices and two more staff he plans to enrol in TAFE NSW in 2019.

“TAFE NSW has a reputation for offering flexibility. It fits in with my business and that’s very important,” Mr Hartwig said.

“The staffing situation at my business can change from one semester to the next, so for this training to work there must be flexibility in the way the training is delivered. Like every business we have our own unique way we like to do things and TAFE NSW has integrated into how we operate.”

Mr Hartwig said he noticed a rapid improvement in the skills and confidence of his apprentices under the guidance of teacher Mark Cole.

The closest facility to the ACT is TAFE NSW Queanbeyan where students attend classes every week. However students also study through a blend of workplace, online and on campus learning.

Rebecca Guymer and Daniel Allen own three Sassy Hair salons in the ACT, they have 20 staff and a young family of three children – their life is busy and their time is limited.

Ms Guymer said they were after a training provider who could provide in-house training.

“For us, TAFE NSW offers that flexibility, offers us the chance to have staff trained in a way that works in with our business,” Ms Guymer said.

“We have totally work-based training where all assessments and learning is done in the salon. It works well and is how we would continue with training in the future.”

For more information on how TAFE NSW can tailor training to suit your business or to enrol in semester one, phone 13 16 01 or visit

Media contact: Adam Wright, TAFE NSW Media Officer, 4421 9895, mobile 0466 375 552.