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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted February 5, 2018

Finding the right apprentice for your salon is becoming a harder and harder task. Many of our HABA Members share that they struggle with finding apprentices who are dedicated and passionate about the industry and willing to put in the work to make themselves a success in it. While HABA can’t pretend to have all the answers, we do have some quick and easy tips to help you find the right apprentice for your salon, like finding the needle in the haystack…


  1. Qualities to look for in the apprentice

An apprenticeship has been designed to combine both paid work with the structured learning environment of an RTO to ensure that the apprentice has a comprehensive education in all things hair or beauty. The ideal apprentice will have a strong understanding that both their formal learning and their salon experience is valuable to their overall education, rather than wanting to rush through a fast-track learning course.

Apprentices should be passionate about the work of being in hair and beauty, but also the elements of customer service that are involved. They should be firm and sure in their decision to join the industry and dedicated to doing their best in their chosen field because working in hair and beauty requires passion and dedication to make it through the harder times that all staff face at one point or another.


  1. Where to advertise for an apprentice

Finding the right place to advertise for an apprentice is half the battle. Whether you choose to work with a recruitment partner, like National Salon & Spa Recruitment, or whether you choose to do it independently, make sure that you advertise far and wide – you never know where your next apprentice might come from.

Advertising on your salon’s Facebook page or Instagram profile is a good start, but also remember more traditional channels, like, or one of the Hair or Beauty industry-specific job posting boards. HABA members are seeing a rise in apprentices approaching salons directly for apprenticeship opportunities, and even if you don’t have the capacity right now for a new staff member, these can be good contacts to keep hold of in the future if you like the candidate – so make time to meet with anyone who approaches you directly. It’s also not a bad idea to be on good terms with careers counsellors at local high schools so that they can recommend students who are interested in starting their apprenticeship to your salon – this is where a strong community focus can be really helpful to your salon.


  1. Determining whether the apprentice is right for your salon and the industry.

Terrible as it might sound, just because someone has lots of enthusiasm, doesn’t mean that they are the right culture fit or the right kind of person to continue and complete their apprenticeship. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. HABA encourages salon owners to dedicate to your apprentices, to really focus on training them and sharing with them the wealth of your knowledge, as this is truly how your apprentice will grow and flourish. If an apprentice does not pass competency tests or is not progressing with their RTO training, then there is an issue for salon owners. If you’re seeking to terminate an apprenticeship, it’s important that you seek advice before doing so as this area can be a minefield. HABA have a team of expert industrial relations advisers on hand to help our members with all aspects of apprenticeships, so make sure to call the team on (02) 9221 9911 before speaking to your apprentice.

Taking on an apprentice is not short of responsibilities for salon owners. You are responsible for the training of the next generation of hairdressers, beauticians, aestheticians, barbers and ultimately salon owners. Finding the right apprentice is one half of the equation, and the other half is in being the right salon owner to look after that apprentice. So, before you take on a new apprentice, make sure that you are also up for the task.

HABA has created a complete Apprentice Guide available for our members, detailing all aspects of managing an apprenticeship, from registering your apprentice with the RTO to competency tests and signing off the apprenticeship. Click this link to download your members-only copy of this guide or become a HABA member by clicking here.

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