In 2017-18, over 16,000 hair and beauty apprenticeships were undertaken in the UK, according to the recent UK Economic Impact Assessment report commissioned by the Hair and Barber Council. The report noted how the hair and beauty sector offers many educational opportunities via apprenticeship qualifications to learners throughout the UK. These opportunities provide valuable benefits to the sector including increasing the wider UK economy and the skill levels of the workforce while continuing to foster the entrepreneurial spirit embraced by the sector.*
Alan Woods OBE, Chief Executive of iTEC & VTCT, has praised how the report highlights “the opportunities available throughout the hair and beauty sector […] Many learners in this sector go on to achieve higher levels of education and advanced skills specialising within their chosen fields.”
The benefits to learners who undertake apprenticeships are apparent when you consider the numerous career pathways that become possible.
More broadly, apprenticeships positively contribute to the hair and beauty sector as a whole, and to the many businesses within the sector. Employers throughout the UK choose to recruit apprentices and here are some of the key reasons why:
An increase in productivity
Engaged and productive apprentices boost productivity to businesses by, on average, £214 per week. 78% of employers agreed that apprentices help to make their workplace more productive.
Training staff on the job can be more cost effective than hiring more experienced staff. There are a number of government funds and grants for employers who take on apprentices. The Apprenticeships Levy was introduced in April 2017 with the aim of encouraging employers to invest in apprenticeship training. The Levy applies to both public and private employers in the UK.
Helps fill the skills gap
83% of employers who employ apprentices rely on their apprenticeship programme to provide the skilled workers they need for their company’s future. Apprentices can be full-time or part-time, allowing for recruitment based on the needs of the business. Additionally, with on and off the job training taking place, you are helping your apprentice gain the skills your organisation needs while moulding your ideal employee who understands your culture and demonstrates your values.
Grow your business
According to the National Apprenticeships Service data, 80% of companies who invest in apprentices have reported a significant increase in employee retention.
Claire Denyer, owner of Saks Hair & Beauty Kings Hill, is a testament to the positive impact apprenticeships provide an employer, having trained over 40 apprentices in the last 12 years. She believes apprenticeships have been, and continue to be, “fundamental to the salon’s development.” Her Salon Manager is a former apprentice, and many of Claire’s apprentices stay on in the business, with 13 out of 16 Level 2 apprentices continuing at the salon to complete their Level 3. The salon’s average staff retention is seven years, which is much higher than the industry averages.
Claire’s experience illustrates the above points beautifully and highlights just a few of the many benefits for employers that offer apprenticeships. And it goes without saying, employing an apprentice is also an opportunity to help an individual discover their passions and pursue the career of their dreams.
Any employer considering taking on an apprenticeship should establish their business needs and then find an apprenticeship training provider to meet those specific needs. VTCT can help with this process. Visit www.vtct.org.uk/apprenticeships or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
*Information taken from An Economic Impact Assessment of the Hair and Beauty Sector on the UK Economy. You can find out more by visiting www.haircouncil.org.uk
**Data compiled from Centre for Economic Research, National Apprenticeship Service and Gov.uk