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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted January 2, 2017

For the past few weeks we have been covering all the basics of getting a new apprentice in salon – recruiting them, getting them set up with their RTO, what their entitlements are – and now we are at the nitty-gritty: how to train them correctly.

All apprentices must follow what is called a training plan (this became mandatory in 2013) which is a tool designed for off-the-job and on-the-job training requirements that apprentices need to complete to receive their qualification. Generally speaking, the training plan is developed between the apprentice, the RTO and the employer so that the plan reflects the specific salon environment that they will be working in and the kind of work they will be doing in salon. Training plans are a living breathing document and should be regularly reviewed (at least every 6 months) and updated throughout the course of the apprenticeship. HABA recommends setting up your training plan when you initially choose the RTO for your apprentice, as it allows you to discuss the parts that each party, the apprentice the RTO and the employer, will be performing. It also allows you as an employer to help ensure the electives chosen by your apprentice are the ones that best suit your business needs and allows you to be across all the skill outcomes your apprentice will have – which is important when it comes to phase 2, competencies.

Competency is a term used a lot throughout the apprenticeship process but is really badly defined. Competency means that an apprentice can perform a task from beginning to end in a satisfactory manner and that the service is at a level where the customer would pay appropriately for the work done. It does NOT mean that they can perform the task at the same level as someone who has worked in the industry for years; but nor does it mean that sloppy work can be deemed acceptable because they are “just an apprentice”. Apprentices who are competent should be able to understand and demonstrate good technique, independent thinking and responsibility and the following core attributes:

  • Understands workplace policies and procedures
  • Dealing with everyday problems that may occur
  • Fitting in with others in the workplace
  • Understanding why it should be done that way
  • Being able to do different tasks at the same time
  • Being able to supply skills consistently
  • Knowing how to do a job
  • Being able to transfer skills to different situations

As an employer, this is your chance to evaluate and work with your apprentice to complete the training process. If you have any doubts about your apprentice’s skill in a particular area, HABA recommends that you do not sign off on the module until the apprentice is appropriately competent. This protects our industry, in only qualifying skilled workers, but also protects you and your salon from potential disaster.

Stay tuned next week while we talk about the most important skill in the apprenticeship process – communication.


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