Apprenticeships during COVID-19 Lock down, What Does It look like? 

Hairdressing, Barbering and Floristry Apprenticeship in particular. 

As Victoria continues Stage four restrictions, Marjorie Milner College presses what was that ever looming ‘pause’ button on face to face delivery.

At first this may seem like a daunting and frustrating setback in studies however, James from MMC comes at it from a refreshing perspective.

“Face to face delivery is one aspect to study, there is and has always been a place for individuals to study outside of the college and work environments, now is the time to do that”.

Benefits to studying from home.

While most students are hesitant to undertake work from home in the fear of creating confusion or making mistakes, this time is often the most appropriately and positively useful time for a student. Not only do students have the ease and accessibility of studying from home they are also best placed to create the environments that suit them personally.

Learning takes place in many different formats. In some instances structural learning environments can be a challenge. This could be for a number of reasons and although MMC works actively with students to ensure that their needs are met in this regard, it isn’t always successful. This is especially true in recent times. While all restrictions and health compliance have taken place within the MMC learning environment it was a challenge for many. The social anxiety and stressful nature of learning, working and living in a COVID-19 world was a concern to many but something MMC staff was pleased to see the cohort working through.

“It really is a pleasure when you see students working through their anxieties to continue to move forward in a positive way” says Renate, Head of the Hairdressing Department.

This is what makes learning from home an opportunity rather than a negative setback. Not only can students continue to learn the many methods and theoretical techniques that are within their course but rather they can also engage in introspection. Here is where students have the chance to hone in on understanding their learning edges (what they need to improve on), how they learn best and continue to perfect the skills that they have already learnt.

How is MMC ensuring Barbering, Hairdressing and Florsitry apprentices are looked after?

MMC specialises in Apprenticeship training and during these periods of lock down changes are necessary to ensure that all health precautions are implemented and restrictions are adhered to.

James from MMC stresses, “Employers and apprentices alike should be aware that training is continuing, it just looks very different to how it ever has before”. Without knowing the intricate details of business shut downs across the state MMC is working with students and employers to ease the stress that may be associated with a potential lack of progress of apprenticeships. This is of particular concern for those that are nearing the completion of their studies. “Rest assured that each student will be able to continue with some form of study, especially their theory components. Not only that but a small number of staff will be available throughout the lock down to support both employers and apprentices with steps that they can take to keep moving forward” says James.

The Victorian Government will also be contacted so that MMC has all the latest and most up to date information on Apprenticeships and business operations within the state. MMC is committed to remaining as accessible as possible and that means going directly to the source to obtain information and then passing it onto the relevant individuals, be it employers, staff or apprentices.

This is no doubt going to be present a challenge to many however James remains sure that all the students that attend MMC are capable and strong enough to work through this and motivated enough to determinedly forge forward with their studies and learning, a sentiment echoed by the entire college team.

What you can do now.

We asked James, practically speaking, what are the strategies that will help apprentices and students study from home?

    • “Students should head to their local post office and purchase stamps and A4 envelopes. This is VERY important as this is how we will receive students work, assess and mark it and how we can send work to students. If purchasing these items is an issue from some, then contact the college and speak with me.”
    • “Set yourself up. I think it is best practice to have a designated study area. A place where fellow household members know that if you are there, you are working. It also sets the tone for a good session. Students are more likely to complete their work with focus and energy.”
    • “Consider the times of day that suit you best for study. Studying from home affords people the extra time and flexibility to work when it best suits them. Find this out and stick to a schedule as much as you can.”
    • “Regularly contact us. I will be in attendance at the college most of the time and so will our teachers from time to time. There is no point sitting on work because you haven’t reached out and called us. Email or call with questions that you may be struggling with. No question is too silly and we are more than happy to help.”
    • “I think it is also beneficial to keep in touch with practical skills. So setting yourself with a mannequin head and tools for our hairdressing and barbering students and tools and any flowers for our floristry cohort. It is a great way to keep practicing. I think this will really be of benefit to apprentices particularly if their salons or shops are going to have to close.

Not only that our cohorts are creative, so now is the time to indulge, get creative!”

    • “Watch this space! We will be online as much as we can. That means like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram and also keep an eye out on our YouTube channel for demos etc. Greg Milner also has a YouTube and Instagram where our floristry cohort will be able to watch demonstrations and gain tips and instructions on specific elements to floristry.”

Instagram;

@marjorie_milner_college

@gregory.milner

Facebook;

@MarjorieMilnerCollege

Hairdressing & Barbering Apprenticeship Support During COVID-19

    • “Support your own wellbeing. As previously mentioned this time may present some  challenges and that is completely understandable. So with this in mind it is important for students to monitor themselves and look after their mental and emotional wellbeing. We will be posting on this and giving tips as much as we can. However, below are a few resources that may be useful should anyone need additional support. It is important to remember that ignoring concerns can be dangerous and that to feel a particular way during this time is nothing to be ashamed of. Neither is seeking support. We are always available should students need us.”

Wellbeing supports;

    • Beyond Blue
    • 1300 22 4636
    • Beyondblue.org.au
    • Lifeline
    • 13 11 14
    • Lifeline.org.au
    • The Salvation Army
    • 13 72 58
    • Salvationarmy.org.au
    • Headspace
    • Headspace.org.au