BLOG: Gavin Hoare on apprenticeships and how good training can pay dividends for any salon

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Gavin Hoare is salon manager at the Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa

When interviewing prospective juniors, I am always thinking about the bigger picture and the team I want in place in five years’ time. At Richard Ward our education and apprenticeship package is a unique and proven system for anyone wanting to enter the hairdressing industry. Trainees will get the unique opportunity to work with an amazingly talented 85-strong team of experts.

We are immensely proud that over the 20 years we have been in business, 75 per cent of our styling and technical teams have themselves worked their way through our bespoke, in-house training and education programme. They have progressed to not only senior level, but have gone on to undertake such varied roles as to become managers, educators and mentors – not only within the salon but within the industry as a whole. The vast majority of our artistic team now conduct seminars, shows and photographic work at top industry level and many senior art team members regularly work as nationwide educators for L’Oreal Proffessional.

Our apprentices need no prior qualifications or experience, the apprenticeships we offer are not age specific and we do not charge for any of our education. All we require is that they have good communication skills, enjoy working with people from all demographics, want to be part of a team and are willing to trust in us that with their dedication and commitment that we will make them the best that they can be by the end of their training.

Our length of training varies according to the individual, but with an average four year duration, an apprenticeship with us will see the junior work towards their basic level NVQ level 2 qualification, whilst receiving on-going in-house training and the opportunity to qualify through all three levels of the exclusive Richard Ward Education programme. This ensures that upon completion of the programme, they are job-ready for our salon floor and, for us, this is key for a smooth transition from junior to salon floor stylist.

Once level 1 is covered, trainees start to work in their chosen specialist areas of expertise – cutting and styling or colour and technical. The RW Education Programme covers all aspects of hair, including theory and science, historical influences and practical hands-on experience, learning from and being mentored by the very best in the business. By the end of the apprenticeship, our trainees will have completed one of the industry’s most bespoke and comprehensive education programs, leaving them a well-rounded expert in their chosen field of expertise, with a unique knowledge of and passion for the industry.