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Beauty therapy booming in Bundaberg

TAFE Queensland teacher Zohie Tracey is helping aspiring beauty therapists in Bundaberg kick start their careers while fulfilling the skills demands of local industry.

With a long and successful career now under her belt, it’s no surprise Zohie Tracey’s love of beauty therapy started from an early age.

“I’d always said growing up I wanted to do hairdressing — I did my first lot of school work experience in a hair salon and my second in a beauty salon. But it was the beauty side that I really liked," Zohie said.

“I really enjoyed the immediate difference you could make to someone’s confidence and self-esteem. You feel a lot of satisfaction when you can help change someone’s outlook of themselves in a positive way.”

While Zohie loves the variety that the beauty industry offers, her favourite part is doing facials and skin diagnosis.

“I love understanding how the skin and body all work together. It's terrific to help a client achieve beautiful, healthy-looking skin naturally — especially when they may have been struggling with skin issues such as acne and pigmentation," she said.

"To be able to assist them so they have more confidence and don’t feel the need to have to wear make-up in front of people is quite rewarding."

Fuelled by her love of the industry, it wasn’t long before Zohie built a varied and exciting career that took her across the country, and the globe.

“I’ve worked in and managed several Ella Bache beauty salons across Brisbane and Gold Coast where I was awarded the Queensland Therapist of the Year," she said.

"From there I moved to Hayman Island in the Whitsundays where I managed their day spa and recreational centre. I also worked in London doing beauty therapy before starting my teaching career in the beauty industry."

Despite enjoying great individual success in the industry, Zohie has always been passionate about teaching and sharing her knowledge with others. So when there was an opportunity to join the teaching team at TAFE Queensland’s Bundaberg campus, Zohie jumped at it.

“I love seeing and hearing how much joy my students have being at TAFE and learning new skills," she said.

“Making a difference in someone’s life is what really drives me — helping to give students a long term, healthy career that they thoroughly enjoy doing, not just a job.”

For people thinking of joining the industry, Zohie says it’s an incredibly rewarding industry with strong job outcomes.

“It may surprise you how much opportunity is available in the beauty industry and the joy this industry can give you," she said.

There’s never been a better time to join this growing industry with JobTrainer funding providing a much-needed boost of skills into the beauty industry. And at a time where other industries are struggling, Zohie is busy fielding calls from local businesses desperate for staff in the wake of the pandemic.

“I’m contacted frequently by local salon owners looking for staff as they’re struggling to accommodate their clients’ needs and have to look at putting on additional therapists and staff members," she said.

"It’s really great to see there are so many employment options available for students after they finish their studies."

This skills shortage isn’t just in Bundaberg. According to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (National Skills Commission), nationwide employment opportunities for beauty therapists are set to increase by 7.7 per cent over the next five years.

But for Zohie, the beauty industry offers much more than just good job outcomes.

“It's such a great environment to work in if you have some kind of genuine interest," she said.

"The variety of work and the employment options for women in particular is just wonderful, and the beauty industry is forever growing and changing, which is always exciting.”