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Apprentice to Trainer – Jess’s Journey with Saks Apprenticeships

Saks Apprenticeships helped Jess from Saturday Girl to successful trainer and are supporting her to look to her future as she develops the next generation of apprentices. This is her story.


When Jess began her illustrious career as a Saturday Girl at Saks in Barnard Castle, becoming a hairdresser wasn’t even a consideration for her. However, after just a few weeks taking in the vibe, experiencing the atmosphere and seeing the quality and level of training the salon’s apprentices were getting, her mind was changed.

“It was a very easy decision to make, and I knew then that I wanted this to be my career!”

Starting off with Saks Apprenticeships was a big step for Jess to take, but despite her initial nervousness, her colleagues at the salon and the educators from Saks Apprenticeships made her feel at ease and helped to build her confidence. This fantastic learning experience, which Jess initially saw from the sidelines, in turn convinced her to start her own journey in the hairdressing industry, helped her develop into a competent stylist and has now inspired her so much she has turned her skills to educating the next generation of hairdressers at Saks Barnard Castle.

Jess believes that without the amazing support from Saks Apprenticeships she wouldn’t be where she is now: “Even when I felt like I was getting nowhere I was supported by the team”

The experienced educators from Saks Apprenticeships, supported by the talented team at her salon helped to build Jess’s confidence as well as developing her skills and she now hopes that this experience will help her to inspire the apprentices she takes under her wing to feel as comfortable with their work and themselves as she did when she was in their shoes.

Jess Hesp of Saks and her team

Jess is continually looking to the future, exploring ways to develop the team at Saks Barnard Castle, with the aim of continuing the tradition of the salon of, as she says, “giving great training, education and experience to every new apprentice that comes through our door.”

She feels confident about being able to help the next generation learn to be hairdressers because of the great support from the team at Saks Apprenticeships.

“Whether that’s doing my training or giving it. The team have always been there to talk to pretty much any day and any time, and I think that is great, especially for us worriers whose minds don’t stop thinking about what assessment is coming up or what they need to be doing next.”

An apprenticeship is a doorway into the exciting and rewarding hair and beauty industry, even if, like Jess, you aren’t completely confident, but you are dedicated, ready to learn and want to be part of an amazing team then an apprenticeship may be for you.

For those wanting to learn to be a hairdresser, Jess has this advice:

“My advice would be to enjoy it, hairdressing is an art, some of it is tough and some things might take you more time to understand than others, but that’s ok everyone is different. Have faith in yourself and take every opportunity that is given to you!”


For more information about our Apprenticeships, click here