TUART Hill barber Rob Calcei has welcomed industry changes after the Retail and Personal Services Training Council approved the establishment of a Barbering Apprenticeship.
Former minister for training and workforce and Scarborough MLA Liza Harvey changed the apprenticeship scheme last July after being a combination of barbering and hairdressing for 30 years.
The new scheme begins this month and will allow future hairdressers and barbers to choose which trade they would like to specialise in without having to do both.
It will also allow the flexibility for employers to employ and train in the skills required by the individual business.
Mr Calcei said the option to study either trade would make it easier for those wanting to specialise in each service.
The Male Room business owner, who has been a hairdresser for three decades, said the changes would take things back to the way the hairdressing industry was in the early ‘80s.
“I have been in the trade since 1986 and the apprenticeship went over four years,” he said.
“Before I finished I had to learn how to cut ladies hair, which was an aspect of the apprenticeship which turned a lot students off the course.”
With beards and manscaping popular again, the industry veteran said he hoped the changes would encourage young people to take up the trade again.
“(Barbers) were a dying breed because of the combined course,” he said.
“When I started it wasn’t as cool as it is now to be a barber.
“I have been waiting for these changes and hope to find and mentor young kids who want to do this job as much as I did.
“There is a lot of work out there for barbers and with these changes it will make it even better for them to become involved.”