In a hair salon of course, you need the hair stylists but one of the most important roles is the role of
the apprentices. It is up to the salon apprentices to make sure the salon is running smoothly; the
clients are receiving top standard service from the moment they walk in to the moment they leave.
They help with making sure the stylists have everything they need to help people feel amazing about
themselves and of course everyone agrees one the best things about visiting a salon is the hair
wash! On top of all that the apprentices make sure the salon is at the highest level of cleanliness,
they complete a full NVQ level 2 and 3 college course and take part in weekly training sessions in the
Lauren is one of our current apprentices working towards her level 2.
Here is what Lauren thinks about being an apprentice.
Why Hairdressing? – “Honestly, I never felt that academic. I was always
much better at the hands on and creative things at school. I didn’t really
know what I wanted to do when I left school, but it wasn’t going to be an
office job! Shelly was doing my mums hair and told her about a position
available, so I came in for an interview and was invited to do a trial
week. I ended up absolutely loving it and 2 years later I’ve gone from a
Saturday girl to being very nearly qualified level 2 running a part time
column one day a week
What drew you to an apprenticeship, rather than a full-time college course? – “The biggest thing
for me was ‘earn while you learn’ At 16 I was desperate for my own money so the thought of earning
whilst achieving a qualification for a life long career was a win win for me.”
What type of college course do you attend? – “When I first started my apprenticeship, I worked in
the salon 4 days a week and went to a training college one day week. The college environment didn’t
really work for me as I felt I worked much better in the salon, so I enrolled with a training company
called Saks. This meant I could be in the salon 5 days a week spending one of those days doing half
practical and half theory. It has been a lot of hard work as the course is self-learning, but I feel like I
have learnt so much from watching and helping the other stylists with their clients. I have an
assessor from Saks who comes in every 4-6 weeks to pass off on the work I am completing.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? – “I can’t wait to be qualified and working as a full-time
stylist gaining experience and perfecting my skills. I would really love to experience working with hair
in another country to see if it differs from here. I am enjoying learning all aspects of the industry and
once qualified I would like to further my skills in barbering.”
Katie is our Senior Technician and in salon trainer. She did her
apprenticeship 10 years ago. Here is what she thinks about her time
Why Hairdressing? – “I always loved playing around with hair, typical
little girl playing with barbies then graduating to my mum and friend’s
hair. I was 14 when I started looking for a job and thought how cool it
would be if I could make money whilst doing my hobby! That’s when I
got a Saturday girl job at Venus Hair in Brighton, I wanted to see if it
was really something I could do for the rest of my life.
What was your apprenticeship like? – “HARD WORK! There were only 2 apprentices to help 10
stylists, so it was a lot of hard work, but I loved it! I particularly loved the training evenings. Every
week we had to find models to practice on, if we didn’t have one, we had to ask a member of the
public to come in. That used to be quite scary, but I think it really helped build confidence.”
What was your college course like? – “I used to go to college one day a week and we would do one
week practical then the next week would be theory. The theory lessons would sometimes feel a bit
like school, but I didn’t mind that so much. I really enjoyed the practical sessions because we were
treated like adults and were given the responsibility of running our own sections. As well as my
college days, training evenings and every day apprentice responsibilities I ran a part time column to
help build my knowledge and confidence.”
After 12 years in the industry what are some of your highlights? – “During my level 3 course we had
to set up an event but incorporate hair in some way. I decided to create a charity event for The
Marlette’s. I Organised the whole event and offered £5 blow dries with all proceeds going to the
charity. I was proud of myself for that because it showed I could project manage and, we raised a
good amount of money for a charity close to my heart. Another highlight for me is quite a recent
one, I have been training our apprentices for past 5 years but this year I became an in-salon assessor
for Saks training academy. This comes with more responsibility which I enjoy, and I can help our
apprentices get parts of their work passed a bit sooner. The big achievement for me is working my
way up from a Saturday girl to now a Senior technician and hair extension specialist.
Where do you see your career progressing to? – As a senior technician within the salon I aspire to
one day own my own salon. I feel like I have learnt so much during my time in the industry however
there is always so much to learn which is one of my favourite things about my job. I am excited to
see what the future holds for me within the hair industry.
Shelly is the owner and Salon Director of Outshine Hair and beauty.
She started hairdressing 20 years ago and set up Outshine in 2011.
This is how shelly went from a Saturday girl to a successful business
woman and salon owner.
Why Hairdressing? – “My mum used to clean in a salon of an evening,
and I would go with her when I was little. It was then that my
obsession with hair started, I loved everything about being there. The
smell, the atmosphere, everything! They used to let me help organise
the trollies and sort some of the equipment.”
How did you get into the industry? – “As soon as I turned 13, I was looking for a Saturday girl job. I
got a job in a busy salon in Brighton, but I told a little white lie and told them I was 15, I was
desperate to work there! After a while they told me they had contacted a training school in Brighton,
so it was time to come clean about my age and tell them I was still at school, oops. Fortunately for
me they could see how much I wanted to stay and my manager at the time was as a qualified
assessor. They hired a private tutor to teach me the theory and my manager taught me the practical.
On my 16 th birthday I qualified level 2.”
Did you like being an apprentice? – “Honestly, I loved it! The best bit was working with different
stylists, I liked to see how they did things differently from each other. There wasn’t one part of the
apprenticeship I didn’t enjoy. I didn’t even mind the cleaning jobs, well maybe not cleaning bird poo
off the front of the shop! Apart from that I love every minute of it.
How did you find the training? – “I felt like hairdressing came naturally to me, I just wanted to do so
well in everything I did and just wanted to please my managers and clients. I was nominated by my
managers for Regional Trainee of the year which I won! That was a huge confidence boost for me, I
was so proud of myself. I struggled a bit with barbering but like everything else I set my mind to, I
really wanted to do well in it, so I practiced a lot on Dad and my friends.”
How long did you work at Venus Hair salon for? – “I worked at Venus from the age of 13 until I was
28. From a Saturday girl I worked my way up to a managerial position. During that time, I managed a
team of 10 stylists, 5 trainees, an internet site, training school with over 100 students and of course
building up my own clientele. I loved my work there and I thrived in the busy environment.”
Have you explored any other paths within the industry? – “When I was younger, I was obsessed
with runways and fashion hair, so I got myself involved in a Matrix hair show. I worked there as a
runner, it was my job to get the models ready for the celebrity stylists. I didn’t get to do too much
hair but just being there was enough excitement, I was in awe of these stylists and models! I have
achieved an NVQ level 3 in customer service and received my A1 teaching assessor’s qualification.
With my teaching qualification I worked one day week at a training school. That path wasn’t really
for me, so I went back to salon. I felt much more comfortable behind the chair rather than at the
front of a classroom.”
What made you want to open Outshine? – “It was always something I wanted to do, I felt that my
experience at Venus gave me the confidence to pursue a life long dream. It was very scary and a lot
of hard work, stress and tears but over 200 loyal clients followed me to the new salon which helped
massively. I am so grateful to all the clients who have visited and still come to Outshine, without
them my dream wouldn’t have been possible and made what felt like the longest 10 months of my
life worth it. This year we will celebrate 8 years of Outshine Hair and beauty, I couldn’t be prouder
and am so proud of my staff. I look forward to the future of Outshine and hope we can help more
young hairdressers reach their potential.”
So now you’ve heard from a few of our staff members on how their apprenticeships were for them.
We hope this helps you see the different ways an apprenticeship can be completed and an insight to
life of an apprentice within the salon and where it can take you.
Much Love, the Outshine team.