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At VTCT, we’re passionate about Apprenticeships as a step towards your dream career. But what is being an Apprentice really like? And what skills do you need to get there? We spoke to Jody Jones, VTCT’S Business Development Manager for Apprenticeships, to find out all you need to know.

Jody, tell us about your background and how you got to where you are today?

I was always inspired by my Mum, who is still hairdressing, so I started working in a hair salon at 14 whilst doing my GCSE’s, in my local village salon at the weekends. After two years they asked me if I wanted to do an apprenticeship there. I then went on to do my apprenticeship in Kent. Having this team behind me still keeps me motivated for our industry today.

After working in different salons, I worked abroad and on cruise and private ships. On my return to the UK, I wanted to give back to the industry. I felt so lucky to have seen so much of the world and wanted to inspire the next generation.

I began teaching apprentices at Headmasters in Soho, whilst doing my teaching qualifications. I then went to work for Wella Professionals as a Technical Educator. I then realised I wanted to go to the root of our hairdressing education to have the biggest impact – and this is why I now work for VTCT.

Why should young people should consider an apprenticeship over other career paths?

Different types of learning environments suit different learners. The unique part of an apprenticeship is immediately having a job; you are getting paid and are in the industry from day one. An inspirational hairdresser once told me “in hairdressing we steal with our eyes”, that could not be truer in apprenticeships. You are exposed to so much and are learning without realising.

As a Hairdresser, what do you see as the key skills that are needed in the profession?

You will master people skills, managing your environment and time effectively, colour related science, cut and haircare and lip reading (!). There will always be towels to wash and dry, but you have the greatest gift as a hairdresser. You have the ability to allow people to express themselves and showcase who they are – that is a truly the most amazing thing you can do for someone. 

What do you see as the key ‘skills for life’ for young people today?

We now have accredited courses for the key skills this generation needs. Mental Health Awareness, Sustainability and LGBTQ+ are areas in which VTCT proudly offer qualifications. These are what the industry is looking for – if you can demonstrate your passion, as well as how you influence the people and the planet around you, you will stand out.

Are you keen to develop, or support someone else on their journey towards their dream career? Visit our website https://www.vtct.org.uk/apprenticeships/