Success Stories: Natasha Wall, Level 2 Hairdressing

“I’ve always been passionate about hairdressing; I used to do my Mum’s hair for her when I was little and I like how having stylish hair, or hair in nice condition, can make people feel good about themselves. I knew when I finished school I wanted to start a career in this industry so I joined a Full Time Course with Skills Group to get some work experience and learn the basic techniques. I was then lucky enough to be offered an apprenticeship at Arena Salon”.

We caught up with Natasha Wall, one of our Level 2 Hairdressing Apprentices, in only the sixth week of her employment at Arena to find out how she’s finding working life.

“I’m really enjoying work so far. It’s a bit of a shock to the system adjusting to having a job, but it’s definitely worth it! I’ve already been involved in lots of different tasks at Arena– from taking off colours, to rough drying, and preparing the salon. It’s never boring! My customer service skills have also improved already through welcoming the clients.

“An apprenticeship is a great way to learn, as every day you’re out on the shop floor getting stuck into different tasks. I’m pleased I got some experience first through the Full Time Course, as it meant I already had some technical knowledge before I started at Arena– even just knowing how to wash hair properly was a big help. It’s amazing how many people don’t know the correct way to do it!

“My advice to others thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be to obtain some experience first so you start feeling confident in your abilities. Keep working at the apprenticeship– even on days you’re finding the job tough. It’s worth it in the end!

“In the future, I would like to progress onto my Level 3 and carry on working in hairdressing; either in a salon or as a mobile hairdresser. Who knows, one day I might even run my own salon!”

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School