Jess's Story

Jess commenced her journey with GSP in January 2016 when she came to her first appointment, with her Mum as support, to meet her new employment coordinator Siobhain. Although Jess was extremely quiet and let her Mum do most of the talking for her she was adamant from the very beginning she wanted to become a hairdresser. Jess had attempted some units of Cert II Hairdressing through VET at Mt Barker High School and had done a small amount of work experience in two local salons. Jess’s anxiety at the time was such that she couldn’t manage the study or work experience and had made the decision to leave school before seeking the assistance from GSP.

Siobhain recognised quickly through regular appointments with Jess that her passion for hairdressing was genuine and as such contacted Hairscope by Marlene to see if Jess would be able to come into the salon for some unpaid work experience to which she agreed. Jess was extremely excited about the opportunity however was unsure she would be able to manage the work due to her extreme anxiety. Siobhain met Jess on the first day of work experience and stayed in the salon to offer support until she felt comfortable enough to stay on her own. After 4wks of work experience Marlene offered Jess casual employment as Salon Assistant where her main tasks were washing and applying treatments to clients hair, blowdrying and straightening hair, making client appointments and general cleaning of salon. Several months passed and Jess’s confidence and abilities grew and grew in the salon with many clients complimenting her and requesting treatments to be completed by her. Jess decided she was now ready to advance her career and wanted to start applying for hair dressing apprenticeships. Unfortunately at the time Marlene’s salon wasn’t able to take her on for the amount of hours required so with the help of Siobhain, Jess began hitting the pavement approaching salons in Albany for apprenticeship positions. Whilst Jess received great feedback from the salons in town every employer she met with already had taken on first year apprentices and recommended she come back the following year. Jess however was not deterred and continued on her mission to secure an apprenticeship and that determination paid off. Marlene, concerned at the prospect of losing Jess to another salon, spoke with her accountant again who confirmed the business would be able to afford to take on first year apprentice at the beginning of 2017.

Jess is now half way through her first year as an apprentice hairdresser and loving every bit of it. She has passed all of her tafe components to date and no longer has anxiety in the workplace or at Tafe. Jess is now working 30hrs a week and has her own dedicated clients. She is now able to successfully colour hair, give basic trims, do updo’s for special occasions and is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a fully qualified Hairdresser. WAY TO GO JESS!!!

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