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Survey Indicates Biggest Industry Fears

Heights, sharks, closed spaces and apparently… the shortage of skilled apprentices coming through salon doors.

The results are in when it comes to the 2015 Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services Environmental Scan, recently released by Service Skills Australia. The outcomes identify the biggest fears we as an industry are facing.

Rustic wooden sign in an autumn park with the words Courage - Fe

The survey found that there was a problem in finding and attracting apprentices and qualified staff. It was feared that hairdressing is no longer valued as a career by teachers, school career advisors and parents.

“In both the hair and beauty industries the key to ongoing success is attracting the best employees possible. However, the hairdressing industry is having problems finding apprentices and skilled staff,” said Service Skills Australia’s CEO, Yasmin King.

Education was another worry, with respondents wary of apprentices who are trained through an institutional pathway, developing technical skills, but struggling to adapt due to a lack of exposure to a working environment. The industry was also concerned with an increase in one year accelerated courses that produce graduates only able to perform the most basic tasks.

Other concerns included the need for better business skills for salon managers, particularly in aspects of managing expenses, marketing, technology and other monetary areas.

On the brighter side, the survey also identified the main skill necessary to ensuring salon success, with customer service touted as a primary factor to the growth of the industry.

“Hairdressers need to have the customer service skills to satisfy clients who want more highly personalised service, while beauty therapists have to have knowledge about treatments and products to be seen as credible to increasingly informed clients,” Yasmin shared.

The survey then went on to list the industry’s key stats and emerging trends. A growing trend was listed as barbering, with a greater need found for those with specialised barbering skills. Service Skills Australia has responded to this with a new barbering qualification at the Australian Qualification Level 3.

Other emerging trends include an increase in home salons, which is a potential health and safety concern, and the broadening of services, with salons incorporating waxing, makeup services and men’s treatments to offer their clients variety. Increased use of technology, including free WiFi for clients and tablets used for consultations rather than paper, is expected in the near future.

It was found that as of November 2013, 56 000 people were employed as hairdressers, which is expected to grow by 8.3% by November 2018, to 60 500.

Well the first step to solving a problem is admitting it, right? Now that we know our fears and future as an industry, what can be done to ensure its growing success?

To view the full results of the survey visit

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