Holly Trickett is the owner of The Art House Salon in Burnley, a business she has been running for 3 years. She began her hairdressing career straight from school, where she started out as an apprentice at Toni & Guy in Manchester. Holly immediately recognised the importance of being able to learn while working and the vital experience that this would give her in creating a foundation for her career. She expresses, “I loved being able to learn on the job, and I think it’s really valuable to gain that experience from the start.”
Bringing an apprentice into the salon can be very rewarding in many different ways. It allows an employer to train that individual to their specific business standards using their business model along the way. It also allows for a smooth transition for the apprentice to become a full-time employee once they finish their training. For the past 10 years, Holly has been working with apprentices herself, this time as the employer, taking on a new recruit every year through Realise Training. “Taking on an apprentice allows you to develop the next generation and gives them the knowledge and skills to achieve at a high standard while also being competent in their job role.” She adds, “Within the apprenticeship journey it is important for learners to fully understand how hard, but rewarding, working within a salon environment is.”
Holly has a new apprentice working with her in The Art House Salon that will be starting the new VTCT Level 3 Creative Hair apprenticeship and she’s excited to help him begin this journey. She also knows it will bring additional benefits to her business. She mentions, “Watching them develop into young hairdressers is an amazing feeling. I’m able to see their individual journeys and watching them flourish.”
Holly, along with Amber, Natalie and Sherrel at Realise Training, identified a knowledge gap that exists for some apprentices that should be addressed before they begin full-time work on the salon floor. Some learners need more development and experience around the “soft skills” including things like timekeeping and communication, which are essential to working as part of a team. Not only does this better prepare them for employment, but to also continue their journey from a Level 2 on to a Level 3 qualification.
Holly is currently working alongside Realise Training in the development of the Level 3 Creative Hairdressing Professional Standard; she has an incredible passion for this project. The delivery method incorporates a mixture of theory, practical input and practical demonstrations which allows the learners to dedicate time to the qualification while giving them an opportunity to work alongside other Level 3 learners from a wide range of backgrounds. The first 6 months are carried out through remote sessions which means learners will be able to start studying even if England is in a lockdown. Holly says, “Hairdressing is an ever-changing industry with techniques, styles and inspiration continually evolving. Realise understands this and is passionate and dedicated in ensuring that the Level 3 apprenticeship is equipped for change. It will not only push the learners to be better, but will give them so many opportunities to see industry specialists at work.”
Asking Holly what inspires her in her own careers, she shares, “I am really lucky to have always loved hairdressing and everything about the industry. Like any sector, there is room for improvement, but I’m always inspired by other hair professionals and the vast opportunity within the industry. I love the continuous amount of CPD available across a wide range of topics so you can always be inspired by something new that you can then add to your own skillset and toolbox.”
We asked Holly if she could share one piece of advice with someone considering an apprenticeship, what she would say. “No matter what industry, hard work pays off. Apprenticeships are a great way to gain skills and knowledge of the workplace environment; how it actually works and functions, not just a further description of the job role.”