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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted January 9, 2017

We are at the final piece of information for our 5-week overview on apprentices. And this really is the most important piece – how to communicate with your apprentice and finalise their formal learning and training process.

When dealing with apprentices it’s very important to create a sense of open communication between the apprentice and the employer, but also between the employer and their RTO. This helps to prevent any potential conflict that might occur within the boundaries of the apprenticeship.

When communicating with apprentices, constructive feedback is key. Mentor and guide them, be hands on and explain tasks and steps involved, alongside a demonstration, to ensure that there is true understanding. Encourage them to gain more hands-on experience with real clients as often as possible and use mannequins only when necessary. Correct any bad habits early on so they don’t impact the apprentice’s overall skill or your business, and involve your apprentice in all opportunities that they can be involved in like independent training, visiting Hair Expo or competitions.   WorldSkills Australia is specifically designed to showcase and highlight strong talent in apprentices, so encourage them to get involved. Opportunities like this allow your apprentice to shine and show off their new skills, creating pride and confidence that they will need throughout their career.

Your apprentice will come to you from time to time if they have completed a module of their course through the RTO, and by signing the plan you confirm they are competent in the skills required. Read more on competencies here. Some modules will require more on-the-job time, like conflict resolution or problem solving, and can be signed off later in the apprenticeship.
After all modules have been completed and signed off by both the RTO and the apprentice, both you and your employee will receive a letter which outlines the time and date at which your apprentice will be deemed a senior member of staff. Read the letter carefully and only sign it if you believe the apprentice is ready to be a senior level staff member.

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, it is important for you to decide whether or not to keep the apprentice on as a senior member of staff, whether that is on a full time, part time or casual basis. Should you choose full time, all accrued leave will roll over to the apprentice; if you choose casual, any accrued entitlements will need to be paid out.
If you do not wish to renew the contract you signed with the apprentice when you took them on initially, you must provide the apprentice with the relevant notice of termination before they complete their apprenticeship training contact, or else you are liable to pay out the notice period in lieu before the completion date.

The end of the apprenticeship does not mean the end of learning in salon. It just means the end of formal education. As an ongoing employer to these newest members of the hair and beauty industry, it is both your obligation and your responsibility to continue to train them and help them to learn, so they can be better, stronger and more creative in their pursuit of excellence. Continue to nurture your staff, no matter how experienced or inexperienced they may be, this is a benefit both to your staff, your business and your clients and our industry as a whole.



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