A National Hairdressing Apprenticeship is being launched to help train new stylists with the first nationally-recognised qualification to get into the industry.
The programme is the first of its kind in Ireland for the sector, providing apprentices who complete the programme with a Level Six Major Award on the National Framework of Qualifications, with certification awarded by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).
City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB) will offer the apprenticeship at a number of locations including Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education in Kilbarrack.
The college has provided hairdressing training in its fully-fitted salon for over 30 years. Tutor Kevin Cahill will be responsible for the apprenticeship training.
With over 45 years of experience, Kevin is a former Irish Hairdressing Federation President and salon owner.
He said: “While the new structure will provide challenges for the industry, I believe that Irish hairdressing is more than ready for them and it will be fantastic to see apprentice hairdressers here finish with a qualification that is both nationally and internationally recognised.
“I believe this will have incredible long-term benefits not only for the apprentices but also for the employers and the quality of recruits coming into the industry.”
The National Hairdressing Apprenticeship will be a minimum of three years in duration and is a recognised qualification.
It is aimed at school leavers who have completed their Leaving Certificate, early school leavers who have at least two years of full-time experience in a salon, or mature applicants who wish to pursue a career in hairdressing or change their profession.
The training will take place on a day-release basis for students, placing them in the salon environment for a further four days under the guidance of a salon mentor.
Apprentices will be employed by a range of hairdressing salons. An employer who wishes to register an apprentice must first be approved by SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority.
National co-ordinator for the new apprenticeship, Suzanne Kiely, said: “This is a real game-changer for the industry in Ireland and now represents the national standard for hairdressers in Ireland.
“The programme is an innovative employer-led undertaking, which has its finger on the pulse of what is required by the hairdressing industry of today.”
Rather than taking the training out of the hands of the employer, the new programme complements in-salon training while increasing the apprentice’s confidence, linking their classroom learning with the challenges they will face in the industry.
This will give them a clear path from entry to qualification, something which has been lacking in many instances up until now.