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TAFE NSW Wollongong West takes Eric from interior design to hair design

TAFE NSW Wollongong West

TAFE NSW Wollongong West takes Eric from interior design to hair design

IF changing career in the new year sounds good to you, a Corrimal interior designer-turned-hairdresser and barber has a few inspring words of avidce.

“Go for it, it will energise you,” Eric Watkinson Hall said. Last year was a busy one for Mr Watkinsons Hall who graduated from Certificate III in Hairdressing at TAFE NSW Wollongong West before launching his own salon and barber business.

Mr Watkinson Hall had an established career in interior design but said he was ready for something completely different.

Career transitions are not uncommon over the course of a person’s life, as McCrindle Research suggests, the average person will have about five career changes and 17 different employers. [i]

He I looked into hairdressing and thought while it was certainly different, it offereed an element of creativity which he enjoyed.

“Making a career change in your 50s can be daunting, but it is exciting,” he said. After gaining the knowledge and experience at TAFE NSW I had the confidence to open the doors to H & H Hair Salon and Barber in Corimal in March last year. Within seven months I had a five star Google rating and 78 reviews.”

Mr Watkinson Hall timed his career change and choice well, with the industry expected to grow over the next five years, driven by increasing demand. [ii]

He said he enjoyed learning new skills, once past the initial shock of walking into the TAFE NSW teaching salon mostly populated by teenagers.

“It was very hands-on, we had real clients who we had never met, so we didn’t know their hairstyle or anything about them. As I was a full time student these consultations offered valuable experience for me.

He said learning from TAFE NSW teachers who have current industry experience gave him confidence in his growing skills.

“After graduating I went back and attended a TAFE NSW course in barbering, something I see as a vital component to my business. Barbering is growing and makes up about 50 per cent of my business.”

TAFE NSW Hairdressing and Barbering Head Teacher Jenelle Charlton said Eric was motivated to gain the skills and qualifications he needed to start his own business.

“As his business grows he can capitalise on his knowledge with the Certificate IV in Hairdressing which offers skills in technical leadershp and managing a salon.

To enquire now for semester one, 2020 visit or phone 131 601 for more information.

Media contact: Adam Wright, TAFE NSW Media Officer, phone 02 4421 9895, mobile 0466 375 552.