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Salon’s apprentices are a cut above

(Left to right) Nicola Pringle, Oceana Manicom, Chloe Thomas, Beth Forcer and Anna Campbell

An award-winning Hair and Beauty salon is singing the praises of Apprentices ahead of our Big Apprentice Event this week. Anna Campbell Hairdressing on York Road in Hartlepool, was built on apprentices. Anna Campbell, Managing Director of the salon started her career as an apprentice and now employs two apprentice hair stylists with hopes of acquiring more in the future.

Anna said: “I’ve always had apprentices. This business was built on apprentices and I started my career as an apprentice 26 years ago. The business can’t survive without them. I’ve had apprentices working for me that range from 16 year old school leavers to 21

year olds who’ve been to college in the past and wanted to do something
hands on instead. The great thing about apprenticeships is that you get thrown in and you learn whilst you work. You get that interaction with people and customers that you wouldn’t get sat in a classroom and you get paid while you learn. Over time you work with the same clients and get to know them and sometimes the clients prefer the apprentices. It’s that relationship you get by working with people that you wouldn’t get anywhere else.”

Voted Hartlepool’s Salon of the Year in 2013 and 2015 respectively and also being awarded a Certificate of Excellence by SalonSpy in 2016, Anna Campbell Hairdressing has become an established name in the area for taking on apprentices and offering apprenticeship placements in an award winning setting. Chloe Thomas, 16, a Hairdressing Apprentice with Anna said: “I’m training for my NVQ Level 2 in Hairdressing and my apprenticeship has benefitted me because it’s hands on and I’ve learnt a lot. I’m earning while I’m learning so it’s the best of both worlds.”

Oceana Manicom, 20, another of Anna’s hairdressing apprentices, said: “My apprenticeship has given me great experience. It’s allowed me to go so in depth with things and be precise with what I want to learn. I actually got my apprenticeship through a work experience placement I had and it took off from there. I was at college at Hartlepool and sort of transferred from that course to come here. I get to work on real people and get first-hand experience in a real working environment. I was so shy when I first began but my apprenticeship has allowed me to work on my people skills and come out of my shell.”

Nicola Pringle, 31, owner of Forever Beautiful which is situated on the first floor of Anna’s salon, started out as an apprentice also. “Apprenticeships are important, not only for employers but for apprentices as well. For me apprenticeships give me the opportunity to offer full one-to-one training and to tailor that training to my apprentice’s strengths and weaknesses. I’ve had an apprentice named Beth working with me for the past two years and she’s just newly qualified so now she’s a therapist. That’s not the end of her training though as she’s going on a course next week. On-going training is a big part of apprenticeships with us. I’m continuously attending training courses too. It’s important to keep honing your skills whether you’re an apprentice, an employee or an employer.”

Beth Forcer, newly qualified therapist at Forever Beautiful said: “My apprenticeship allowed me to go at my own pace. At college I was always working at the pace of everyone else. I wanted to work and learn faster and my apprenticeship allowed me to do that.

I find the work I’m doing really fulfilling. I really enjoy working with people and it’s a great feeling knowing that people are coming back for me.”
Nicola said: “I’d encourage any young person that’s thinking about entering into an apprenticeship to do it. Going to college to study something like beauty or hairdressing is great but it doesn’t give you that real world experience and going from that class environment to a work environment can sometimes be a shock to the system. Apprentices experience the workplace as it is. They see all and there’s no hiding away from work. If you want to work hard and learn then an apprenticeship is for you.”
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