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Highlands students combine school and TAFE NSW training to be qualified faster

TAFE NSW Moss Vale

Highlands students combine school and TAFE NSW training to be qualified faster

Katlyn Scotson and Magic Young from Bowral High School are among the first local high school students to earn TAFE NSW hairdressing qualifications while still at school.

13 June 2019


In a first for Moss Vale, a number of high school students are combining hairdressing at TAFE NSW with their school studies for a head-start in their chosen career.

With more than 20 hairdressing salons in the Southern Highlands, TAFE NSW Moss Vale is offering the program to budding hairdressers to help build the workforce of the future.

TAFE NSW Hairdressing teacher Mark Cole said the TVET (TAFE NSW delivered Vocational Education and Training) course builds a pipeline of new apprentices for the growing sector in the region.

“I maintain relationships with salon owners who want to employ TVET graduates and more owners frequently asking if we have graduates ready to start an apprenticeship,” Mr Cole said.

The TVET course enables the students to gain an accredited Certificate II in Salon Assistant, as well as the skills and experience to be work-ready in the hairdressing industry, while completing their high school studies.

“Six of the units the students are learning go directly toward their Certificate III in Hairdressing. This will mean the students can be qualified and earning more money faster.  The skills and experience will also give them an edge in job interviews over other school leavers,” Mr Cole said.

Every Tuesday the group of local high school students undertake work placement at the TAFE NSW Moss Vale hairdressing training salon.

Thirlmere High School student Kaylee Blunden has worked part-time in a salon and knows it’s the industry she wants to be employed in.

“Why not get started with my future while I’m still at school? By the time I’m 18 or 19 I could be a qualified hairdresser,” she said.

La Halo Hair owner, Jade Webster, thinks “The idea of school students making a start on their apprenticeship is a fabulous idea.

“As a business owner, it makes life so much easier to employ a trainee who can hit the ground running when they start.

“At TAFE NSW, students get the experience so when they when they finish school and come on as a first year apprentice, they will already know the basics,” she said.

Ms Webster employs a second-year TAFE NSW apprentice who is taking part in flexible salon-based training.

“My apprentice’s TAFE NSW teacher, Mark, will call in regularly and go through what she has been doing and work with her on any sticking points; this means my apprentice can be contributing in the salon more often.”

Freedom Hair Design owner Debbie Hills employs five apprentices at her Bowral salon. She said the industry was growing and offered a rewarding career for people who were passionate about hairdressing and styling.

She understands the need to offer training to the next generation of students transitioning to the workplace.

Her apprentices undertake a mix of work-based and campus-based training through TAFE NSW.

“From a business point-of-view the flexibility of having staff train in the salon is excellent. The more hands on deck the better,” Debbie said.

“We have a real mix of clientele which means my apprentices can benefit from that variety while training in the salon.”

For more information about studying at TAFE NSW or for information about how TAFE Enterprise can create flexible training for your business visit or phone 131 601.

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