Amanda Randle, partner, director and senior beauty therapist of Randle and Randle in Sheffield is a big advocate of apprenticeships and supporting the next generation into the hair and beauty industry. She first took Grace Crossland on a three week work experience placement before offering her a Saturday job and then an apprenticeship. She spotted her potential and supported the next steps to build her career and qualification.
She told us:
“I am glad we gave Grace the chance to join us on work experience because it gave her a chance to see if working in the industry was for her. Sixteen is young to make decisions on your career path but you have to start somewhere to discover it. A work experience placement and a Saturday job is a good place to start. Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to try everything linked to the hair and beauty industry in a busy salon under the watchful eye of more experienced staff.
There is a catch 22 in our industry. We need people with experience and although studying at college gives you the basics it isn’t enough. You need to give people the chance to get experience somehow. Apprenticeships help us to support people to get their careers started as well as give us a team moulded in the way we want them.
Grace has got a really good grounding now and she has also got the hands on practical side too. The pandemic might mean that she is a bit behind with the academic side of her studies, but actually, with things like customer service she is ahead of where she needs to be. She picks things up so quickly.
Grace has now got her own column on our booking system and I have increased her prices to reflect her level of skill. She is getting repeat business and that is great sign that customers like what she does. Grace is passing on her skills to other apprentices too which saves us time and is really nice to see.”
“For any industry that is hands on, whether that is construction or beauty therapy, apprenticeships help people learn so much more. When apprentices work alongside you they learn the little tricks that you can’t teach in the classroom.
Apprentices aren’t cheap labour because you have to invest time to train them. If you don’t do that you won’t get the quality you need. We’re getting older and eventually we will want to start stepping back a bit. I see Grace and other apprentices as a way we can plan for that to happen.
It is nice for clients to see us taking people on and moulding them to provide the level of service they expect. It is really important. We really believe that the only way we can maintain the standard that we want is to grow our own. It gives us the continuity we want and our clients value that.”