Revealed: The Truth About Hiring An Apprentice
If you’re thinking about appointing a hairdressing or barbering apprentice, it’s likely that your intentions are good.
- Perhaps you’re looking for ways to nurture and develop talent?
- Maybe you’re getting fed up of high staff turnover and you’re looking for ways to boost loyalty and retain team members?
- It could be that you’re trying to boost efficiency and improve customer service by ensuring that your team share your values?
- Or you want to grow your business and develop a reputation as a centre of excellence?
Whatever your motives, the reality of an apprenticeship can often be a world away from the rose-tinted paradise you’ve been envisaging. We definitely don’t want to put you off. In fact, we’re advocates of apprenticeship schemes. Done in the right way, they can be incredibly rewarding to everyone involved. However, they’re definitely something to go into with your eyes open.
With that in mind, we’re publishing a series of posts about apprenticeship schemes, which we’re kickstarting by revealing a few truths about hiring an apprentice. (Call it a guide for first timers!) Here they are.
Apprenticeship schemes last a minimum of 372 days
First, a few technicalities.
An apprenticeship is a way of training new (or existing) employees. Hair Professional Apprenticeships in hairdressing or barbering are jobs which offer training to industry standards. Your apprentice will take a Level 2 Diploma for Hair Professionals (or Level 3 NVQ in Hairdressing or Barbering), as well as English and functional maths skills taught in an industry context.
In real terms, this means that your apprentice is required to complete a minimum of 372 days of training and will need to be in employment and training for a minimum of 30 hours per week. They’ll need to have an apprenticeship contract of employment, with a commitment statement that you’ll both sign.
You’re responsible for delivering 80% of your apprentice’s training
Although your apprentice will attend college or a training provider for the equivalent of one day every week – more on training provider partners later in the series – you’re responsible for providing 80% of their training.
In other words, this is a big commitment to sharing your skills with another individual. As part of their training, your apprentice will need to learn consultation skills as well as how to shampoo and condition hair. They’ll learn how to use a range of colouring and lightening techniques as well as how to style and cut it to create a variety of looks.
We’ll cover all this in greater detail next week. But we just wanted to give you a basic understanding of what you’ll need to cover.
Employing an apprentice is a time-consuming commitment…
There are many wonderful things about hiring an apprentice, as we’ll explore in this series. However, it’s important to be clear that – in our endlessly busy lives – this is an additional commitment.
We’re all time poor these days. But if you’re interested in having someone on hand to help you shampoo, make tea and answer the phones then an apprenticeship is not right for your business – hire a full time salon assistant instead. An apprentice scheme won’t work out if you’re not prepared to invest your time and effort. And that applies if someone else in your team is responsible for the apprentice’s training and development, too.
…but also your chance to develop in-house talent for your business
So much for the negatives. Now for a few of the pluses.
If you are looking for ways to attract raw talent and transform your salon or barbers into a thriving centre of education that aspiring hairdressers and barbers fight to be part of, then an apprenticeship scheme is the perfect solution.
What’s more, when you’ve gone to the trouble to invest your time and money in an individual, they’ll be grateful. Which means that apprenticeship schemes are a fantastic way to ensure you retain the top talent.
Plan your scheme carefully to ensure it works out for everyone involved
Your apprentice wants to feel that they are undertaking a high quality apprenticeship. You need them to have the confidence that they made the right decision to take up employment with your business. What’s more, you want them to feel that your apprenticeship programme is going to help them progress and thrive.
So, how do you go about developing an in-house apprenticeship scheme that ticks all the right boxes for you as an employer, for other members of your team and for your budding apprentice?
By watching this space! Next week, we’re covering the training you need to provide your apprentice.