Work experience placement to apprenticeship: Grace’s career is off to a great start
Experience counts when it comes to getting your career off to a great start. This is something Level 3 Beauty Therapy apprentice, Grace Crossland will verify. Her work experience placement helped her to get a part-time Saturday job, and then an apprenticeship with Sheffield based hair and beauty salon Randle and Randle.
Grace’s career is going from strength to strength and she is a great asset to the business which gave her the opportunity to develop the skills she needs to work in the beauty industry. Grace and her employer, Amanda Randle told us more about Grace’s journey from student to apprentice and why work experience counts in the beauty industry.
Work experience is a great introduction to the industry
“I first came to the salon on a three week work experience placement as part of my media make-up course. After that, I was offered a Saturday position and carried on with that until I was 18, at the same time as studying at college. Then Amanda offered me an apprenticeship. It just seemed like the best option and a good way forward for me. I am learning and have a job at the same time.
After my work experience it really made me think about what I should do next to get into the industry. I realised that being in a salon would give me the best opportunity and help me to learn in a way that worked for me.
Working here on a Saturday helped me to realise it is what I wanted to do and I knew I wanted to get out into the real world. It sparked my interest in wanting to know more about skincare and what happens underneath make-up. I thought going down this route would give me more options in my career.”
Work experience builds confidence and skills
“I finished my level 2 apprenticeship when we first went into lockdown so I never really got a chance to start working with my own clients but it has been good to finally use my skills as restrictions are lifted. I have taken on a huge list of clients recently which is good. They keep coming back and they have confidence in my abilities even though I am only just qualified.
When I first started I even found it hard to answer the phone. Being here has given me confidence in myself and really helped me to get the skills I need to work as part of a team in a salon like this. You really pick up on how other people do things by being in a working environment.”
Why work experience counts
Amanda Randle, partner, director and senior beauty therapist of Randle and Randle 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 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.”