Tania Clem discovered her love of hairdressing at just five years of age. Now nearly 20 years later, Tania is set to achieve her dream of becoming a qualified hairdresser when she completes her apprenticeship with TAFE Queensland.

Tania Clem is on track to complete her Certificate III in Hairdressing (SHB30416) and Certificate III in Barbering (SHB30516) at TAFE Queensland’s Gympie campus in less than a month, putting her one step closer to accomplishing her ultimate goal of one day running her own salon.

The 24-year-old reigning Gympie Show girl said she is excited to carve a path for herself in the industry and that her apprenticeship had helped her grow not only her knowledge and techniques, but her soft skills.

“When I first started I was a very shy person who didn’t want to talk to anyone – I was happy in my own bubble. Now, I’ve come out of my shell and talking to different people is one of my favourite things about what I do,” Tania said.

“I get to spend my day chatting with my clients and hearing their stories, all while making them feel special and confident. It’s a pretty great feeling.”

Tania began her journey with TAFE Queensland’s Gympie campus in Year 10, when she made the decision to explore her career options through the TAFE at School program. While she had always envisioned a future as a hairdresser, Tania wanted to make sure she considered all her passions. With this in mind, she completed TAFE At School qualifications in hospitality, retail, tourism and beauty therapy.

“I wanted to sample a bunch of study areas so I could be absolutely certain of what I wanted to do,” Tania said.

“You never know where life might take you; you might fall in love with doing something you never expected, so I wanted to put that to the test,” she said.

“Then I went for a job trial at a hair salon, and while I didn’t get it, it reaffirmed hairdressing as the right path for me. But the skills and knowledge I gained in my other qualifications are still valuable lessons that I can incorporate into what I do in the future.”

Despite being about to complete her apprenticeship, Tania intends to further her studies in the future with salon management qualification. But for now, she is happy to be able to help boost the confidence of the region’s residents and join what Jobs Outlook lists as a growing industry.


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