P.E.I. hair salons struggle to find staff

Some P.E.I. hair salons say it's getting harder to find staff, forcing them to make many clients wait more than a month for an appointment.

Students are being recruited even before they graduate

Island hair salons are struggling to fill vacancies. (CBC)

Some P.E.I. hair salons say it's getting harder to find staff and that means many clients have to wait more than a month for an appointment.

Grand Senses salon manager Virginia MacIsaac would like to hire at least four new stylists, but she's having trouble finding staff.

'It's basically a headhunt for stylists and aestheticians. If you want to work, you will work on Prince Edward Island.- Deanna Clow, Private Institute Hair Design and Aesthetics

"We have a lot of guests requesting hair services and we do not have the staff to meet all those requests."

In an effort to recruit up-and-coming stylists, Grand Senses is asking for help from Private Institute Hair Design and Aesthetics. 

The school says this is happening more than ever this year. 

Deanna Clow says some students are being hired even before they finish styling school. (CBC)
"There are salons calling our school to come and recruit students that have only been working for three weeks," says instructor Deanna Clow.

"It's basically a headhunt for stylists and aestheticians. If you want to work, you will work on Prince Edward Island." 

Clow says the beauty industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in North America. That means more salons are opening faster than staff can be trained. 

Many of the school's students expect to have jobs well before they graduate.

Student Tanner Murdock is excited by the demand. "It's good to know that we are wanted and needed, so I'm training for something that has a purpose on P.E.I."

Tanner Murdock, hair stylist in training. (CBC)
MacIsaac says more needs to be done to attract young people to the industry and to market hair styling and aesthetics as careers with plenty of opportunity on the Island. 

"We need to become much more aggressive, to be out there presenting this industry for what it is."

MacIsaac also plans to reach out to training colleges in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to try to cut down her waiting list.

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