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World Barber Day highlights future demand of the age-old craft

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TAFE NSW is sharpening the skills of future barbers to enter the re-emerging industry as the demand for qualified professions surges.

Despite the fact barbering dates back to Ancient Egypt, the future looks bright for aspiring hairdressers, thanks to growing trends in male grooming, with Australian men spending $7 billion on grooming products every year. 

On the back of World Barber Day on 16 September, Newcastle’s Erica Lewis admitted she fell in love with the culture while touring America.

A qualified electrician and butcher, she decided to explore her passion and made the switch to a barbering apprenticeship in 2020.

“Last year, I still had a few months left [of my apprenticeship] but had the opportunity to take over my own barbershop,” the proprietor of 88 Barbershop said.

“It was a huge step.

“However, I was confident in my skills and ability and decided to back myself and take the chance.

“My teachers at TAFE were incredible, making it possible for me to continue my studies while I started my business.

“I’ll finish my course in a few weeks.

“And, I’m excited to take on my own apprentice and mentor them in the skills and techniques to be an exceptional barber.

“There’s no way two years ago I could have dreamed I’d be where I am today.

“I plan to continue taking my skills to the next level, so I can offer colouring services and treat and manage men’s scalp conditions.”

TAFE NSW barbering teacher Rocco said TAFE NSW was supporting the industry through a wide range of training pathways.

“Barbering is a great career because not only is the job hands-on and social, but qualified barbers are also in high demand,” he explained.

“There is so much more to barbering than cutting hair.

“From holding clippers correctly to hygiene standards, being qualified is what keeps the industry reputable and safe.

“We’ve come a long way from traditional straight or taper cuts.

“New tools of the trade and changing customer needs have shaped a growing skills demand in the latest equipment and techniques.”

Rocco is also seeing modern barbershop owners undertake further training to grow their business and provide additional services in beauty, massage, and responsible service of alcohol.

The nationally-accredited Certificate III in Barbering is a fully government-subsidised JobTrainer course for those who meet eligibility criteria. 

To find out more about barbering courses on offer at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601. 

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