Aspiring hairdresser travels from Grenfell to Narellan for apprenticeship opportunity

Tanaya Holz on at Just Cuts Narellan on Wednesday
Tanaya Holz on at Just Cuts Narellan on Wednesday

People in Macarthur are used to a bit of a commute to work, but more than 350 kilometres? That's dedication.

But the long distance from her home in Grenfell to Narellan didn't bother Tanaya Holz.

The 18-year-old saw that Just Cuts Narellan was looking for an apprentice as part of a new statewide hairdressing apprenticeship scheme, and decided to give it a go. She has become the very first apprentice in the scheme.

Just Cuts Narellan owner Anna Duric said she never expected to get a response to her ad from a small Central West town.

"My first thought was where is she going to live," Ms Duric said.

As it turns out, Ms Holz's grandmother lives in Ingleburn and will welcome the teen into her home for the duration of the three-year apprenticeship.

"Tanaya called me the day before the in-person interview to check it was still on, because it's a four-hour train ride for her to Campbelltown," Ms Duric said.

"She didn't want to buy the ticket if it was cancelled.

"When Tanaya came for the interview she brought her grandmother in, and she said she'd do anything to help her granddaughter, as Grenfell is a small town without the opportunities we have here."

Ms Duric was impressed by Ms Holz's drive and was happy to take her on as an apprentice.

"It'll be challenging for her to adjust given she has no friends locally, but we want to give her the practical salon skills she needs to complement her Certificate III in Hairdressing so she's salon-ready when she graduates in three years' time," she said.

"Just Cuts only employs fully qualified stylists, so she was disappointed on her first day not to be able to cut hair - but learning reception skills and customer service is essential to a career as a stylist."

Ms Duric said there was a national shortage of fully-qualified hairdressers, which she believes is due to a lack of interest in the profession from school-leavers.

She hopes the new apprenticeship program might go a ways to changing that.

"We're open seven days and we need people to work weekends," Ms Duric said.

"I think many school-leavers aren't considering the value of a practical trade - there's plenty of jobs available.

"You just can't get your hair cut online, Covid-19 hasn't changed that."

"Tanaya's a great example that all you need is enthusiasm and passion, and a commitment, and the rest will work itself out. Just Cuts is a great place to start because we cut hair for all ages and styles."

Due to the national skills shortage, apprentices will be eligible to receive $1000 after completing 12 months of the NSW scheme, and a further $1000 at the completion of the three-year apprenticeship term with NSW Just Cuts salons.

To sign up to the Just Cuts NSW salon Apprenticeship Program, or for more information, visit www.justcuts.com.au/careers/current-vacancies.