I write this after being involved in a great and very open Facebook discussion over the weekend at Hair UK- Have your say. What transpired was a some truly well-written posts which for once didn’t descend into an argument!
A post was written about the poor training in College and the fact that students are leaving under the false pretences of being hairdressers (or Barbers).
Firstly, I’m not going to make this a college-bashing exercise as there are many private providers taking government funds and delivering sub-standard qualifications. I’m not going to bash the awarding-bodies (City & Guilds, VTCT etc) as the qualification itself is substantial and fit for purpose.
We need to look at the delivery and policing of these qualifications. We need to ensure that providers understand what we do for a living. We don’t make things that either work or don’t. We don’t drive things that crash if we get it wrong. What we do is an aesthetic. In effect, we deal with human emotion. We please people. But, in pleasing people, we need a set of skills that give us every opportunity to please them. We need to be able to cut hair in a multitude of styles. We need to colour hair safely, creatively and with knowledge. We need to style hair in various ways to suit our clients’ needs.
These skills simply cannot be delivered in a couple of hours a week in between Maths and English. These skills cannot be delivered by working on your Nan and Auntie every week. These skills cannot be taught by Tutors who’ve not been near a salon for 20 years.
These skills need to be delivered by motivated and relevant Educators with an up-to-date skillset and knowledge of what is happening in our salons right now. They need to understand the pressure that salon-life brings; the noise the buzz, the smell of a busy salon where you’ll have 45 minutes to make every client feel like the King or Queen.
If these demands can’t be met by your trainer move your apprentices away. There are a multitude of providers all over the country who could vastly improve what is being offered already. If we don’t use the bad ones, funding is removed. It’s that simple. If a provider fails to use its funding allocation it is then shrunk the following year. So, let’s vote with our feet. Don’t send the apprentice to the bad providers, tell the local college why you can’t possibly employ one of their so-called full-time students. And then go and find a real provider that cares. One that cares about their reputation, one cares about the future of the industry. One that doesn’t keep blaming ‘funding’ or ‘hours’. How many times do ex-trainers complain that they were forced to sign things off? Well guess what, you weren’t forced. You could have said no. You could have gone to the awarding-body and complained. You could have saved someone’s career.
So, let’s get together, not to blame, not to look back, but to look forward. Let’s starve out the poor and let’s embrace the good. Are we (Alan d Hairdressing Education) perfect? Certainly not! Do we care, bloody right we do. We breed skilled, loyal employees for our multitude salon-owners.
Please contact us to see if we can help in any way.