Jodi's Salon in Emerald was the regional winner of the Small Employer of the Year category at this year's Queensland Training Awards. Pictured are Brielle Arnold, Kaylee DeLange, Jayne Kavanagh, Brooke Patton, Jodi Pike, Chelsea-Anne Kelly, Kathleen Wilson, Ella-Jayne Drury, Justin Pace (educator), Isabella Schrader and Madison Wilson. Picture: Contributed
Jodi's Salon in Emerald was the regional winner of the Small Employer of the Year category at this year's Queensland Training Awards. Pictured are Brielle Arnold, Kaylee DeLange, Jayne Kavanagh, Brooke Patton, Jodi Pike, Chelsea-Anne Kelly, Kathleen Wilson, Ella-Jayne Drury, Justin Pace (educator), Isabella Schrader and Madison Wilson. Picture: Contributed

Emerald salon crowned CQ’s Small Employer of the Year

MORE than 26 years ago, Emerald hairdresser Jodi Pike opened the doors to her salon – Jodi’s Salon.

Ms Pike, a qualified hairdresser, started with just herself and a second-year apprentice.

Over the years she has employed 121 apprentices and currently has 19 employees, including 11 apprentices completing a Certificate III in Hairdressing.

Jodi’s Salon was the regional winner of the Small Employer of the Year category at this year’s Queensland Training Awards.

Ms Pike said a business was not a business without the team.

“I am very proud of my team – the win is still sinking in,” she said.

She said it was hard getting hairdressers in rural areas.

“We would train apprentices, but a majority were female and when they had children they didn’t always come back to hairdressing,” she said.

“It’s not like someone would train, become a tradesperson and then stay in that trade fulltime.

“So, I decided early on to continue to train apprentices.”

She said it was also more beneficial to have her apprentices trained at her salon rather than sending them to larger centres.

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“Some people were having to move to larger towns and cities to enable themselves to do a trade, but I always felt they needed to be trained here,” she said.

“Also, we had a lot that wanted to move onto the cities once they were trained so we had a lack of tradespeople. It just made sense to train the apprentices.”

She continued to invest in highly reputable education programs for her employees to ensure quality training and career opportunities.

“It is hard for people in rural areas because the more prestigious educators tend to travel to Rockhampton, Mackay and Townsville – they don’t come to rural towns,” she said.

“I would send my staff to Brisbane; however, it was becoming very expensive. So, up to three times a year I bring the educators here, that way all staff can attend.

“Even after 37 years in hairdressing, there is always something new to learn from these courses.”

She said she had some amazing apprentices over the years and equally amazing seniors that had been prepared to train apprentices.

“You don’t win these awards without the passion and commitment of the senior hairdressers who are prepared to back you up and train the apprentices,” she said.

“Chelsea-Anne Kelly is our current senior manager and trainer at the salon, and she is absolutely amazing.

The reason I entered into these awards was for the team and it would be lovely to take home the state title.”

As the regional winner, Jodi’s Salon will now progress onto the 2020 State Finals, which will be announced online on September 18.

Jodi’s Salon is open seven days a week in Central Highlands Marketplace. To make a booking, call 4982 2022.