Mature-age apprentice a cut above the rest

15/06/2022

Mature-age apprentice a cut above the rest



At age 35, Kasey Tyler never imagined she’d be sitting in a class full of fresh-faced hairdressing apprentices about to start learning again. But that’s the situation she found herself in three years ago when she decided to finish the apprenticeship she’d started as a school leaver.

And it’s a decision that has paid dividends for the Wagga Wagga local, who is now a fully qualified hairdresser with S & E Hair and Beauty after completing her studies with Riverina Community College (RCC).

Ms Tyler said she knew from an early age that hairdressing was the industry for her.

“I've always loved being creative with hair, making people feel people beautiful and connecting with people, so it seemed like the obvious career choice for me when I first started my apprenticeship at 17,” Ms Tyler said.

"Instead of ‘being on the tools’ though, I found myself working in salon management and retail which I really enjoyed, and my apprenticeship fell by the wayside."

Ms Tyler said while she had a wonderful career working in the haircare industry, she always yearned to pick up a pair of scissors and get back into the practical side of hairdressing. However, she found it hard to prioritise the demands of a job she loved and the desire to complete her formal training.

But she was inspired to take that leap of faith when her younger brother passed away suddenly, aged 30. She says with the support of her husband and family, the grieving process triggered a complete overhaul of her priorities and life values.

“Losing my brother was devastating and life-changing. I had this sense that 'life is short,' and that inspired me to do the things I'd been putting off – like finishing off my apprenticeship,” Ms Tyler said.

And that’s exactly what Ms Tyler did. She resigned from her position as haircare sales rep and enrolled in a Certificate III in Hairdressing through RCC. She became focused on completing her training and finished the remaining components of her apprenticeship in 18 months.

“I'm sure I probably stuck out a little going back to college with all the young ones, but age has never been a drawback tome. If anything, it's been an advantage,” Ms Tyler said.

"I brought life experience, maturity and confidence to my training, and I think it’s made me a better hairdresser and employee.

"Not only did I invest in my own career, I’ve been able to grow as a person and build my personal brand.

"My message to anyone thinking about a career change is that you’re never too old to start something new and change the trajectory of your life."

RCC is currently taking expressions of interest for a number of apprenticeship pathways, including beauty services, business, makeup, hospitality and individual support.

RCC has recently become part of The VERTO Group, and its CEO, Ron Maxwell, said that while apprenticeships are often seen as a career option for school leavers and young people, they are also a great option for more experienced workers to transition to a new career in an industry with excellent job prospects.

“Long gone are the days of getting a job straight out of school and staying there until you retire — this is where a mature-age apprenticeship can help,” he said.

"Apprenticeships can open the door to a brand new career path, allowing you to complete a vocational qualification (such as a Certificate II, Certificate III or Diploma) while gaining hands-on work experience — and getting paid.

"Changing careers is something that needs serious consideration, and Riverina Community College offers a wide range of training that can help you get a great head start."

For more information, visit www.riverinacc.edu.au or call 1800 000 212.