Industry association Hair & Beauty Australia (HABA) has joined with education institute TAFE NSW to offer a traineeship pathway program and address the industry’s skill shortage. In the program, students will study a Certificate II in Salon Assistant at TAFE NSW Ultimo, combined with practical experience at HABA member hair salons.

“HABA is launching this training program with TAFE NSW to inform salon owners that employing an apprentice or trainee is a cost-effective way to fill a skills gap in your business,” said Maureen Harding, Chairperson of HABA. “A trainee provides you with a keen, eager employee who you select, who can be trained for the specific needs of your business, helping increase your bottom line and contribute to sustainable growth.”

“This program offers students a taste of what it is like to work in the industry, and the majority of training will occur in-salon, providing students with the opportunity to earn while they learn,” she continued.

Maureen Harding

The Personal Services Industry Reference Committee identified skills shortages throughout the challenges of COVID and even beforehand, with businesses struggling to find skilled and experienced staff. This program will aim to help salon owners in this difficult endeavor.

Importantly, the Australian Government is providing support to all eligible employers who engage a new Australian Apprentice or Trainee. Eligible employers will receive a subsidy of 50 per cent of wages paid to a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee, to the value of $7,000 each quarter, until 30 March 2022. This partnership will facilitate a beneficial program to both salons and students.

“The Certificate II in Salon Assistant is a great entry-level qualification and provides students with exposure to the hairdressing industry before they commit to a full apprenticeship,” said Vanessa Grant, Head Teacher of Hair and Beauty at TAFE NSW. “Trainees will combine theory and work-based training to learn skills such as shampoo and basin services, organising tools, equipment and work areas, applying hair colour, blow-drying, and conducting salon financial transactions.”

The Certificate II in Salon Assistant prepares students for hairdressing work and further study with a curriculum of fundamental skills and a focus on outstanding customer experiences in salon settings.

Keep this new initiative in mind as a promising new addition to the salon industry.

HABA is hosting an information webinar for Sydney based salon owners interested in the traineeship program on May 31, 2021. Register your interest by emailing

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