Jeanette Allen was 15 when she decided she wanted to be a hairdresser.
Little did she know then just how far her Australian Apprenticeship would take her.
“When I completed my apprenticeship in hairdressing, I had an excellent grasp on all aspects of the trade," Jeanette said.
"Within six years I was a salon manager and within 10 years I owned and operated two salons employing 15 staff."
Jeanette quickly realised as a business owner, and trainer of her own Australian Apprentices, that teaching the profession of hairdressing was to be her next goal.
A career of life-long learning was to follow.
“My apprenticeship really was the foundation I needed to kick-start my career, and as the years progressed, I found I was able to build upon that qualification through further education and experience to extend myself and my career opportunities," she said.
“I’ve been a hairdresser, business owner, teacher and curriculum designer and for a number of years the CEO of Service Skills Australia - a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving training and enhancing skills and workforce development for Australians, especially apprentices and trainees."
Jeanette has now established her own consultancy with a view to contributing to the development of the vocational education and training sector and the many opportunities it offers to business and industry.
“I believe Australian Apprenticeships have the power to change lives," she said.
"By taking on an apprenticeship, you are opening yourself up to a world of opportunities where you can gain an independent and well-paid career."
In 2011 Jeanette was the inaugural winner of the Leadership in Quality Award at the Australian Training Awards.