TAFE NSW hairdressing apprentice Chelsey McKay counts herself lucky to be mentored by expert Nicky Cassidy and her team at Cassidy's Hairdressing
A leading Sydney hair salon credits TAFE NSW for providing highly skilled hairdressers that provide quality experiences, as the hair industry sees Australians becoming more selective amidst the cost of living crisis.
Salons are crying out for more skilled workers to meet rising demand as Australians spend more on boutique hair services while facing a national shortage of hairdressers and salon managers.
Owner of esteemed Cassidy’s Hairdressing on Sydney’s northern beaches, Nicky Cassidy says she’s proud to have provided a career start for over 20 TAFE NSW apprentices since opening her salon 30 years ago.
“In the current financial climate, we’re finding that people are being more particular about where they spend their money without compromising on treating themselves, so it’s more important than ever that our hairdressers can deliver exceptional services to clients,” she said.
“My responsibility is to give our apprentices every opportunity to be successful in the industry, and I find that the natural result of that is that I have happy, longstanding staff who are passionate about their work.
“It’s so valuable to us that our apprentices can learn in-depth theory and industry-leading practice from a range of people at TAFE NSW—from other hairdressers and even their peers—so they become well-rounded and can apply their new skills in our salon.”
Chelsey McKay, 20, is completing an apprenticeship at Cassidy’s while studying a Certificate III in Hairdressing at TAFE NSW Northern Beaches and said that hairdressing is proving to be a rewarding career.
“I love that I can make people feel good about themselves by giving them a great haircut and salon experience. People feel proud when they love their hair – it changes their identity and self-belief,” she said.
“The supportive environment at TAFE NSW means that I can try new techniques in the classroom before taking them to the salon. I know that my teachers believe in me and that I can call on them for help.
“I’ve had a number of opportunities to learn first-hand from industry suppliers. Just last week I attended a TAFE NSW event with my employer, Nicky where representatives from a leading hair product company showed us techniques that I can now apply in the salon.”
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Hair, Beauty and Barbering Magali Pimblett said the hair and beauty industry is the number one growing industry in the world and TAFE NSW is proud to be training the next generation.
“Employers want experienced and confident hairdressers, and we’re giving our students every opportunity possible to learn from the best through our longstanding industry connections.
“Our recent Look’n’Learn industry night is just one of many opportunities we provide for salon owners, salon staff and apprentices to network, learn and mentor each other. These connections provide invaluable experience for our students while supporting business owners and engaging them in our training.”
Media contact: Emily Dart, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, Emily.Dart1@tafensw.edu.au, 02 7921 6315.
 Skills Priority List, 2022