College is a cut above the rest

Published 7:35am 9 May 2023

College is a cut above the rest
Words by Kylie Knight

For hairdressing and barbering students Lateisha Phythian and Bailey Gordon, the Australian Trade College North Brisbane offers the perfect balance – completing senior studies while gaining valuable practical skills that will make them job-ready.

The Year 11 students spoke to Moreton Daily about how the college is already giving them a competitive edge.

Lateisha, 15, started at the college in January and is studying a Certificate II Salon Assist (hairdressing), Certificate III Business, English and Mathematics.

She completed work experience at S&S Hair and Beauty North Lakes and has since been offered a school-based apprenticeship, which she started in April. This includes a Certificate III Hairdressing which will add points to her QCE.

“I’ve always had an interest in hairdressing and was going to a school that wasn’t really based around trades. I found Australian Trade College North Brisbane interesting and saw that it was more industry preparation and trade-based,” Lateisha explains.

“I really like it. I spent a couple of weeks in the salon and went for work experience, and was able to get a school-based apprenticeship. I’m doing my school-based apprenticeship now on my two trade days. It’s really good because I feel like I get to interact with customers full-time now. Once I’ve graduated, I can work full-time in hairdressing.”

On the other three days, she works on her senior studies at the college.

“Once I have graduated, I would like to do hairdressing full-time. At my salon, we do beauty as well so I would like to get into that as well,” she says.

Lateisha says studying a Certificate III in Business will also give her the skills she needs to run her own business one day.

Off to a flying start

Bailey, 16, started at the college in February and is studying a Certificate II Salon Assist (barbering), Certificate III Business, English and Mathematics.

He has so far completed work experience at Chairman’s Barber Shop.

He moved from Sydney to the Redcliffe peninsula with his family at the beginning of this year and felt Australian Trade College North Brisbane was the right fit for him.

“The way that the school’s run. We have two days of our trade and three days of senior studies. That format really appealed to me. It’s really beneficial to my learning,” he says.

|“I think separating those days really helps because it allows you to focus on your trade days and you can focus on your senior studies for the rest of the week.”|

His goals this year include achieving good results in his senior studies and developing his barbering skills.

“To complete my barbering apprenticeship is definitely a goal and eventually run my own business,” he says.

“I like the artistic side of it. I believe cutting hair is a bit of an art in itself.”

Australian Trade College North Brisbane Principal Brett Kavanagh.

Hands-on learning

Australian Trade College North Brisbane Principal Brett Kavanagh says, as a teacher and school principal, it’s wonderful to come to school and see students in a hands-on environment.

“They’re working in a real-life working environment, working with paying clients. Part of their day-to-day study here at school is that real-life experience. They get to transfer those skills out to the workplace in their work experience with the aim of securing a school-based apprenticeship,” he says.

The timetable is structured in such a way that students can make the most of their time at college or in a workplace.

“What’s unique about the Trade College is, when a student’s here, there’s nothing going on in the background. The two days they’re here in the salon (or at their school-based apprenticeship), they’re not missing English, Maths or Business. When they’re at Maths, English or Business, that’s their number one focus,” he explains.

“Last year, 100 per cent of our Year 12 students received their Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) and 94 per cent of them were in full-time work within three months and 100 per cent of them had a gainful employment pathway within graduating Year 12.

|“That’s what makes us unique and special for a young person completing their senior schooling in a practical and hands-on learning environment.”|

The Australian Trade College North Brisbane is part of MRAEL and the IntoWork Group.

The college has an onsite salon called Ocean Breeze Hair and Barbering Academy, which provides in-salon training for students in partnership with Creative Edge Training (RTO #41497).

It offers customers a range of hairdressing and barbering services, using internationally recognised products, at an affordable price.

To find out more about hairdressing or barbering services, phone 07 3414 5954 or visit the website

Information evening and campus tour

Australian Trade College North Brisbane’s next information evening is on Tuesday, May 16 from 6-8.30pm.

The evening will showcase all trade programs including hairdressing; barbering; commercial cookery/hospitality; metal engineering/fabrication; electrotechnology; automotive; construction/shop fitting/cabinet making; plumbing; health services; early childhood education; and information technology.

Places are limited for the information evenings and usually book out. For more information and to register, head to the website


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