To train or not to train? Lifting the lid on Hairdressing Training Institutes.

To train or not to train? Lifting the lid on Hairdressing Training Institutes.

Having worked in the beauty industry internationally as a hair and make up artist for 25 years, I have rangitahi contact me regularly asking: “I’ve done a hairdressing course, but how do I get a job? “

That is a good question.

I trained in the mid 80s when there where no full time hairdressing courses only apprenticeships.

My apprenticeship was 4 years or 8000 hours, and after a short induction, I started on the floor straight away, sweeping the floor, general cleaning duties, answering the phones, attending to clients and shampooing.

My employer and the other senior hairdressers at my salon trained me once a week, on colour application, perm winding and application, blow drying and finally Hair cutting.

My dear Aunty Rachel was my first haircut, she sat with me for 3 hours!

I went to Waiariki every 3 months for 2 weeks to learn the theory of hairdressing.

I sat yearly theory exams was called 1st then 2nd qualify.

I did my first 2 years in my home town of Rotorua, then wanting to grow I completed my final 2 years and trade certificate in Auckland city.

During my apprenticeship both my employers where given wage top ups by the government, and because I really wasn’t making much money for them whilst I trained the wage assistance would have helped their wage bills.

I am grateful I trained that way; a good work ethic was instilled straight away, if you didn’t turn up you never got paid and having left school at 14 I was learning a career that ended helping me to travel the world.

Full time Hairdressing training institutes are a different story all together.

A couple of years ago I wanted to give back to my industry and went and studied a “Certificate in Adult Teaching” because I thought I wanted to be a hairdressing tutor.

Upon starting at a hairdressing institute I only lasted 5 weeks!

I didn’t dislike the students I loved sharing with the students, I didn’t like the institute it was a huge money making scheme for the owner.

What really stood out for me was how little time the students get to decide if they like hairdressing or not, they get 7 to 14 days to decide.  Once they have reached that date the money is taken from their study link account, anywhere from $3000 to $10.000!

Whether you complete the course or not the students have to pay the money back, to the government and with interest!

In conclusion the hairdressing courses I believe are boring.

NZQA creditation scheme is archaic, some of the hairdressing skills you get from the exams you have to sit to get to the next level are not even used in a salon of today.

If you or a family member are thinking about getting into hairdressing as a career, go door knocking at your local salons, apprenticeships are  hands down a better way to learn.

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