Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today opened a new hairdressing apprenticeship facility at Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education in Kilbarrack.
The college, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020, is just one of the locations where the City of Dublin Education and Training Board offer their new programme.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “Currently there is a skills shortage in hairdressing and many salons are struggling to find suitably qualified hairdressers to sustain and grow their business.
“I would take this opportunity to ask hairdressers rebuilding after a difficult year to consider taking on an apprentice.
"To any man or woman considering hairdressing as a career, consider availing of a national apprenticeship programme that allows you to earn while you learn. We are delighted to officially launch this new training facility in Kilbarrack as part of the apprenticeship programme."
The National Hairdressing Apprenticeship is a three-year programme leading to a nationally recognised QQI Level 6 Qualification in Hairdressing.
Minister Harris added: “Diversity and inclusion is a key aspect of the Action Plan. What this means is that one aspect of Government incentives and supports are targeted towards achieving greater gender representation across the various apprenticeships.
“In April I announced a new gender-based bursary worth €2,666 to employers who take on apprentices of a minority gender where greater than 80% representation of a single gender currently exists.
“What this means for the hairdressing sector, which currently stands at 90% female representation, is that if you take on a male hairdresser you will get an additional €2,666 thanks to the new gender based grant. This is on top of an employer grant of €2,000 available for every apprentice that a business takes on.
“As such, I would really encourage anyone considering taking on apprentices to take this opportunity to participate in a more gender balanced way, given the supports available to encourage and enhance gender diversity in the workplace.
"We currently deliver hairdressing apprenticeships in six locations, and by the end of the year we will have extended it to a total of 12 locations across Ireland, including Mayo, Sligo and Wexford.”
National Hairdressing Apprenticeship Coordinator at Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education Kevin Cahill said: “While the apprenticeship programme has provided challenges for the industry, I believe that Irish hairdressing has proven 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 new training salon and dedicated computer hub are among the best facilities to be found anywhere and reflect the exceptional standards in Irish hairdressing.”