Today there are a variety of different career paths within the hairdressing industry. You can work in a salon, travel abroad, help on stage in London’s West End, work on TV or work in photography to name just a few. No matter where you end up, you can start your educational journey through a traineeship. For young people between the ages of 16–24, this may be the best route to decide if it is the career you really want to pursue.
A Hairdressing Traineeship is an education and training programme that incorporates work experience. It can open doors for young people and prepare them for their future careers by helping them to become ‘work ready’. If needed, it can give them work preparation training with English and Maths allowing them to develop the skills and experience that employers are looking for while also helping them secure an apprenticeship or other job in the future.
TNB Skills Training, located in Folkestone, has helped 100s of young people secure a position in a wide range of roles within the hair and beauty industry. In addition to offering apprenticeships, they also train students through Traineeships. One of these students is Katie Hutchings who is working through her Beauty Qualification at TNB. With several different routes young learners can take after leaving school, we were keen to know from Katie why she chose a traineeship over a standard college course. “I wanted to get my Maths and English qualifications while starting from the bottom. It allows me to gain experience and qualifications as I work my way up to higher levels of qualifications. I completed an online course before starting with TNB Training, but unfortunately for me, it wasn’t accredited.”
Studying on a traineeship gives the learner a realistic view of what working in a salon is like, with real-life situations and the true salon environment. This was perfect for Erin Mcdowell who is currently taking a Hairdressing Traineeship at Shumi Hair in Ashford, “I prefer being thrown in the deep end and am more of a visual learner. Being in the salon and learning on dolls heads whilst watching stylists is very helpful to me instead of solely doing coursework,” Erin explains.
Erin is looking to become a full-time stylist in a local hair salon where she can work her way up to becoming a head stylist or salon manager. “I would then love to start up my own salon and build a business from there,” she shares. As part of her qualification, Erin is in the salon 4 days a week for 3 hours and spends a Tuesday at college learning employment skills and hairdressing theory.
Most traineeships can be undertaken on either a full-time or part-time basis; they can be completed from between six weeks to a year. The mix of formal training and practical learning means learners aren’t exclusively in a classroom throughout the duration of their studies. Before the pandemic struck, Katie would normally spend 2-3 days in the salon and 1 day in a classroom setting which is something she was not expecting to enjoy, “I was a little apprehensive about learning in a classroom again, but I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and having the support from all the staff.” Another TNB trainee, Kayla Curtis, is studying a VTCT Level 2 course in Hair and Beauty at House of Beauty and spends 2 days a week in the salon and roughly 3 hours in the classroom. This way, Traineeships provide learners with a flexibility that allows them to work with their training provider to structure their training and studying to suit them, whether that be full or part-time.
Leaving school and taking on a traineeship or apprenticeship can be either an exciting or daunting prospect for a young student. Katie told us, “My anxiety almost stopped me at first from pursuing a traineeship. It was the biggest challenge to overcome, but I knew it was something I really wanted to do and achieve so I went for it. All of the staff were so kind and made me feel more relaxed. I enjoy it so much.” Erin explained, “My confidence has grown greatly within the traineeship and all the people at college and my workplace have really played a part in that.”
No matter the challenges these individuals have faced, all agreed that the traineeship is an excellent route to pursue. When asked if she would recommend a traineeship to someone else, Kayla was confident, “Yes, because it gives you experience in the work environment and you get a head start in your career.”
Find out more about VTCT Traineeships here.