An award-winning hair and beauty salon is singing the praises of apprentices - and urged interested people to find out more.
Anna Campbell Hairdressing in York Road in Hartlepool, was built on apprentices.
Anna Campbell herself, who is the 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.
She said: “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 while 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.”
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.Anna Campbell
The business was voted Hartlepool’s salon of the year in 2013 and 2015 and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by SalonSpy in 2016.
Anyone interested in apprenticeships should attend The Big Apprenticeship Event at Hartlepool College of FE tomorrow where more than 50 employers will give advice and guidance from 5.30pm.
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.”
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.”
Beth Forcer, newly qualified therapist at Forever Beautiful said: “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.”