A natural with clippers and a blade, Denzel initially didn't know what his future career path would hold.
“When I graduated high school I didn’t really know what to do, but I was already cutting hair on my mates and family,” Denzel said.
“I always went to Gentleman Jones Barber Shop for my cut and I really liked their style, so one day I dropped my resume in," he continued.
“I like the social aspect of barbering, it keeps you busy and your mind active."
"I didn’t want to go into a job where I just droned away, I like to keep my brain working - so it’s the perfect job for me.”
The qualification is a free apprenticeships for under 21s course meaning Denzel’s training fees are covered by the Queensland Government.
Denzel said being able to study for free lifted a huge burden.
“It’s definitely helpful, as a lot of people my age fall into debt to further their education,” he said.
“Being able to study for free gives me a head start and it means I have less to worry about.”
The free apprenticeships for under 21s funding program is designed to provide young people with the skills they need to pursue careers in areas that require more workers.
Australian Job Outlook data for hairdressers, which encompasses barbers, predicts there will be around 31,000 job openings by 2023.
Denzel’s employer, Cassandra Jones from Gentleman Jones Barber Shop said barber services are in demand.
“Barber shops reflect the era of our grandparents. Our clients are treated like gentlemen and receive modern cuts and styles in a relaxed social environment, coupled with good old fashioned customer service,” Cassandra said.
“If you’re a qualified barber you’ll never be out of a job, in fact I could do with two more employees right now.”
TAFE Queensland hairdressing and barbering teacher Trish Nielsen said it has been great to work closely with industry to develop training that meets demand.
“Cassandra and everyone at Gentleman Jones Barber Shop have been really big supporters of TAFE Queensland taking on barbering training in Townsville,” Trish said.
“I’ve worked alongside Cassandra, gaining additional industry consultation and support to ensure the course we launched just over a year ago sets our students up for success in the workplace," she continued.
“I love being a teacher and passing on my knowledge to students like Denzel; he’s eager to learn and he absolutely has a passion for barbering.”
A TAFE Queensland graduate herself, Cassandra knows the importance of quality training.
“Denzel is the third apprentice I’ve had study at TAFE Queensland in the last year and the proof is in the pudding. The quality of the students’ skills has been demonstrated when they come back to the shop," Cassandra.
“The apprentices really enjoy going to campus, they are totally engaged in their training and they don’t ever want to miss attending class, which is fantastic."
“Barbering is an art and I’d definitely recommend going to TAFE Queensland to become the best barber you can be.”