Alan d founder Edward Hemmings.

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I haven’t written anything for a long time as the business is taking a slightly different route. It’s been pretty time-consuming organising new funding arrangements for our Apprenticeship program as well as coming to terms with the new rules regarding the delivery of our Level 2 & 3 training as well as the private side of the business.

We started Level 3 Certificate courses for those not under an Apprenticeship & quite frankly, it becomes so confusing for the average person looking to change career, but not really understanding exactly what training & qualification they’ve signed up for. The number of salon owners & trainees that I’ve spoken to over the last couple of months who don’t seem to know the difference between a Traineeship, a VRQ or an NVQ is quite amazing.

Most of the College training providers are hanging on to their funding provision by the skin of their teeth & will do almost anything to retain students regardless of the standard of their practical training. This is going to change as end-testing is now in place & certification will not be awarded if the Apprentice is not up to the required standard. That means that training organisations such as ours, private providers, have a much better chance of training people to be work-ready by the time their Apprenticeship is completed.

We deliver great training for both Ladies Hairdressing & Barbering, but couldn’t possibly have set the bar so high if we didn’t have the backing of our partner salons who reinforce the training we provide with great model nights, therefore confirming their & our commitment to improving standards across the industry. Which leads me on to the current issue of “where do I get my next generation of Apprentices from”?

Unfortunately, schools are in the same position as the colleges, trying to protect their budgets by persuading parents & their children that 6th form college is better than an Apprenticeship & that the youngster HAS to remain at school. This, as we know, is absolutely NOT true! I urge all of you to try & get in to your local schools on their career’s days to explain the benefit of proper on-the-job training whilst earning a little money at the same time & with the prospect of a great future as a top quality Hairdresser or Barber.

Have you heard of a government scheme entitled “Traineeships”? Let me explain how I think it may help with recruitment. We all give potential trainees a trial period, usually up to 3 months, to see whether they’re going to be suitable for the business. Instead of employing them directly, you offer them a 13 week trial & pay their travel & lunch money. They spend a minimum of 28 hours per week in the salon & one day off-job training (which is where we come in). The Traineeship acts as an introduction to a full NVQ Level 2 Apprenticeship in either Ladies Hairdressing or Barbering, hopefully followed by Level 3. In other words, a complete career path.

I’ve just had a thought in a (brief) moment of clarity! We’re always at the end of a phone and if you want some help, advice, moan or just a chat, give us a call… 020 7634 9400.