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Hervey Bay teens undertake apprenticeship first

Local teenagers Leyah Bromhead and Milana Audesho are paving the way for other young beauty enthusiasts to earn while they learn by becoming the first in the Fraser Coast region to undertake the Diploma of Beauty Therapy (Relaxation Massage) (SHB50121) via apprenticeship.

Leyah, 18, and Milana, 17, are among a growing number of locals across the Wide Bay pursuing a career in beauty therapy, with the local industry experiencing a 48 per cent increase in employment over the last five years according to Jobs and Skills Australia. However, unlike the majority of their cohort who will complete their qualification prior to entering the workplace, Leyah and Milana’s pathway looks a little different.

That’s because as apprentices, the pair – who work for local beauty salon Serenity Skin Spa – are well on their way to becoming qualified beauty therapists while enjoying the added benefits of gaining valuable first-hand experience in an active workplace as paid employees.  

For Leyah, an apprenticeship was a natural progression in her career, after completing a Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics (SHB20121) through TAFE at School and a Certificate III in Beauty Services (SHB30121) via a school-based apprenticeship.

“I think beauty is something that was always on my radar – I always loved makeup. But it was my teacher at TAFE Queensland who inspired me to do more than just makeup,” Leyah said.

“I did a traineeship with Serenity in Year 11 and then started my apprenticeship at the start of 2024. I liked that you get a lot more on the job training – a lot more experience while you’re learning,” she said.

Milana was also drawn to the beauty industry through her love of makeup, with the driven teen gaining her apprenticeship after making her mark during her high school work experience week.

“I’ve always wanted to work in beauty since I was young, but I didn’t know how to get into it,” Milana said.

“So when I was doing work experience, I worked really hard to make a good impression, and was offered this apprenticeship as a result.

“I felt like it was something I wanted to get into straight away (the salon) and I didn’t want to have to wait until I’d completed my qualification, so when the opportunity came, I took it.

“I left school to do it, which was a bit scary – jumping into the unknown and not knowing whether it was going to work out – but I don’t regret it at all. I love making people feel good about themselves and helping them relax and have time for themselves.”

Under their apprenticeships, Leyah and Milana work three and four days a week in salon respectively, while completing training at TAFE Queensland’s Hervey Bay campus one day a week. This enables them to earn while they learn and immediately apply the skills they develop through their training in the workplace.

“We’re always learning, whether we’re at TAFE or doing on-the-job training with our co-workers,” Leyah said.

“I’ve learnt so many things that I didn’t know before – it’s been really interesting.”

“My favourite part is definitely getting to work with clients and do hands-on work,” Milana said.

Both Leyah and Milana are scheduled to complete their apprenticeships by the end of this year, with Milana hoping to continue developing her skills in various areas in the beauty industry while Leyah dreams of one day running a salon of her own.