MEDIA RELEASE: Baird backs down on damaging changes to Hairdressers Act

NSW Labor is welcoming the Baird Government’s back down on reducing the qualifications for hairdressers and is congratulating successful campaigning by thousands in the industry across NSW.

In move that would have been a blow to many small businesses in the sector and yet another blow to TAFE, the Finance, Services and Innovation Minister had proposed repealing or amending the Hairdressers Act 2003 to remove the requirement for at least a Certificate III in hairdressing.

Hair Stylists Australia - supported by the Australian Workers’ Union - has successfully fought the move, with a petition signed by 20,000 people. It was feared the changes would result in huge risks to occupational health and safety.

Premier Mike Baird is once again being called upon to recognise the importance of a skilled work force in NSW and stop the attack on TAFE and skills training.

Under the Liberal-Nationals 5,200 teachers and support staff have been sacked from TAFE since 2012, course fees have skyrocketed, enrolments have plummeted and campuses across the state are being sold off.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minster for Skills Prue Car

“Qualifications from the VET sector, like a Certificate III, give hairdressers the skills they need to confidently tend to customers safely and satisfactorily.

“Daily hairdressers deal with harsh chemicals and sharp scissors. Scrapping the Hairdresser Act would have lowered quality and safety standards in the industry.

“Mike Baird needs to show leadership on these issues and stop letting his ministers destroy TAFE.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Small Business Jenny Aitchison

“That the minister for skills and small business had no idea of the policy and it was just a thought bubble from the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation indicates chaos in the government.

“The Premier needs to pull his Ministers into line and get them to start working on policies which support small businesses in NSW rather than undermining them and creating fear and uncertainty.

“It’s hard enough in small business without being under constant threat of massive changes to your industry at the whim of a minister.”

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