What’s taking you so long AHC?

  • June 12, 2024

What’s taking you so long AHC?

The reality of hairdressing is that we are an industry of constant change, where creatives adapt to new techniques and learning experiences that come from our salons, colleges, suppliers, academies and independent educators. As well as these, digitisation is the new learning platform. Yet, despite our active environment for learning, one aspect remains stubbornly stagnant: the Hairdressing Training Package.

What’s wrong with the training package?

Quite simply, the course is dated and does not meet current industry needs or standards. In fact, it was introduced in 2016, written at least a year prior. How much has our industry changed creatively and technically since then?

Why can’t we just teach apprentices whatever we want?

RTOs (Registered Training Organisations) must adhere to the contents of the current course, locked into its constraints. The issue lies in its rigidity. Colleges must navigate a labyrinth of government rules and compliance, with the current package demanding a staggering 154 assessments, amounting to a daunting 660 assessment hours. Finding the balance between teaching and assessing within such confines poses a frustrating challenge.

Why can’t the AHC just change everything?

As an industry organisation, we are not vested with the authority to unilaterally overhaul the training package. Our role, instead, is to serve as the conduit for industry feedback, presenting these insights to the government.

Over the past six years, the AHC has diligently fulfilled this role, engaging with industry stakeholders through meetings, surveys, and our annual Industry Day. Attendees to our meetings and Industry Day include salon owners, apprentices, RTOs, teachers, independent educators, and supplier educators, providing a comprehensive spectrum of perspectives.

However, bureaucratic reshuffles and governmental transitions have hindered progress over the past three years. The AHC is feeling hopeful for 2024, as the “Jobs and Skills Councils” have recently taken up the mantle. Among these councils, the newly renamed SaCSA (Service and Creative Skills Australia) now collaborates with the AHC, signaling a potential breakthrough in addressing industry concerns.

So what happens now?

SaCSA is actively listening to industry feedback on the Training Package and broader challenges. The AHC has proffered a consolidated summary of insights gleaned from our education and training committees, members, and stakeholders. Our recommendations include the development of a more flexible Training Package, emphasising fundamental skills alongside commercial salon readiness, as well as advocating for a recalibration of assessment burdens in favour of more teaching time. Additionally, we champion the provision of leadership skills for salon owners, recognising their pivotal role in shaping the industry’s future.

How can you get involved by contributing to change?

Join SaCSA and stay abreast of developments. Membership is open and free. Connect with the AHC at our upcoming Education & Training Industry Day on Friday 28 June. This event will be held at the Fullerton Hotel Sydney. Registration is from 8.30am and the conference is 9:00-5:00pm. Let your voice be heard, for in unity lies the strength to influence the future of our apprenticeship training, giving them skills and the knowledge to be salon ready.

To join SaCSA, visit https://sacsa.org.au

For more information on the AHC Industry Day 2024, visit https://events.humanitix.com/ahc-industry-day-2024

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