Skilling Australians Fund to address hairdressing skills gap

Media Release
  • Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills

Tackling the skills shortage with a new focus on apprenticeships and traineeships in occupations in high demand was on the agenda today at the Hairdressing Industry Conference in Darling Harbour, Sydney.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, addressed an audience of hairdressing teachers, salon owners and representatives from training organisations on how the Turnbull Government’s new Skilling Australians Fund would help build the skills their industry needs.

“It’s clear that there simply aren’t enough hairdressers with the right skills to meet consumer demand,” Minister Andrews said.

“The Skilling Australians Fund announced in the recent Budget will revitalise our focus on apprenticeships and traineeships. It will help boost the number of people who choose and succeed in this pathway, supporting Australians to get the skills they need for the jobs employers require.

“We must build the capacity of our skills training to get more people into jobs that will help grow our industries and keep the economy strong.”

Minister Andrews said it was concerning that apprenticeship and traineeship numbers in hairdressing had fallen over the past five years.

Commencements fell by 33 per cent and completions fell by 30 per cent.

“This drop is reflected in a decline in apprentice numbers more broadly, which threatens the capacity of some major industries to meet their expected growth,” Minister Andrews said.

The Government’s new permanent Fund commits an estimated $1.5 billion over four years and will underpin a new agreement with the states and territories to create an extra 300,000 apprentices over the next four years.

With an emphasis on strong accountability, transparency and the delivery of clear outcomes, the Fund will prioritise projects which support apprenticeships and traineeships in high demand occupations.

The Fund will be complemented by a new $60 million Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices program which will provide 45,000 mentoring places and support the supply of skilled workers in industries undergoing structural change.

“We need people to stick with their apprenticeships and see them through to the end,” Minister Andrews said.

“The mentoring program will ensure apprentices receive the targeted support they need to complete their training and go on to rewarding careers.”

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