Emily Barrow, 21, is currently studying an Apprenticeship in Hairdressing at Amie Nicole Hair.
Q. Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
A. I chose an apprenticeship because I wanted to get into the workplace and start earning a wage, but I was keen to continue learning so I could gain a qualification and get onto the career ladder that I’d always dreamed about. Working as an apprentice gives me the best of both worlds as I’m earning and learning at the same time.
Q. What does your typical day in the workplace include?
A. No two days are the same in my role and that’s what I love. I usually arrive at the salon early to help open up and get everything prepped ready for the day ahead. Most days we’re fully booked with clients and the jobs I’m given are really varied, from making drinks and giving someone a quick trim, to full hair re-styles and colour. Every day I’m meeting new people and that’s what I love about the job the most.
Q. What skills have you developed during your apprenticeship?
A. Apart from the obvious hairdressing skills, my confidence and communication skills have grown massively. Because of the on-the-job training I have received, I now have the necessary skills to lead my own clients. Time management is key in my role too, to make sure I am sticking to client booking times and hair colour developing times.
Q. What is your college/work life balance like?
A. At first, I did find it quite challenging trying to balance work commitments, studying and socialising with my family and friends. However I quickly learnt how to juggle it all and make sure I complete my coursework on my one day at college and the occasional evening so that when the weekend comes, I can switch off and enjoy time with my friends and family.
Q. How did you choose what apprenticeship programme to study?
A. To be honest, it wasn’t a difficult decision for me. I’ve always wanted to get into hairdressing even from a young age. Make-up and styling my hair is a hobby to me and knowing that I could do that day in day out and earn a wage seemed the dream to me. I chose an apprenticeship over a full-time college course in hairdressing as I definitely learn better in a practical environment and was keen to get working in a salon environment.
Q. How did you feel when you were offered the work placement at Amie Nicole Hair?
A. I was thrilled! It was such a great opportunity and one that I didn’t want to miss. My manager and colleagues are really friendly, approachable and are great role models. I’m proud to be working at Amie Nicole Hair and proud to be an apprentice at NSCG.
Q. What support do you receive from your assessor?
A. I tend to have contact with my assessor weekly, whether it’s by email or text. If we have a general review or observation, then she will observe me in the workplace and feedback on any areas I can improve on. The staff at the College are really supportive and they’re always there to help if I have any queries or concerns.
Q. What would you say to somebody thinking about studying an apprenticeship?
A. Go for it! I have found it really beneficial and it’s helped me to get into a job that I love. An apprenticeship gives you the chance to earn a wage and gain real-life work experience skills for the future, all at the same time. You’re able to gain a recognised qualification, whilst being taught by experienced industry professionals.