Employer Focus: March Hair, Plymouth City Centre

March Hair was established in Plymouth in 1986 and has grown to have three stylish salons in Plymouth city centre, Hyde Park and Yelverton. The Hairstylists and Beauty Therapists are experts in their field and are passionate about creating beautifully styled hair and providing specialist treatments. Their customers clearly agree with an abundance of positive reviews, such as “If you’re looking for a new salon I would 100% recommend March Hair!” and “I’ve been using this salon for 20 years. I’ve never even thought of going anywhere else”.

We sat down with March Hair Director, Tanya Bader, to discuss apprenticeships and the impact they have had on the business.

“We have employed lots of apprentices in the past and have developed a good radar for knowing who will be an asset to our salons. We have a strict recruitment process to ensure we choose the right apprentice, including a trial period and rigorous checks.

“We chose Skills Group as I already knew the Hairdressing Programme Manager, so she was able to give us initial advice and guidance about the process. We have a good relationship with the Skills Group team we work with, especially our Business Advisor and they are always on hand to offer help and support when we need it. We would recommend Skills Group to other salons looking to take on apprentices.

“Our apprentices need to be well mannered with a positive attitude and always put their best foot forward. They are working in customer facing roles and dealing with a huge age demographic, from youngsters to the elderly, and therefore need to have the ability to interact with everyone.

“We currently have Claudia, a Level 2 Hairdressing Apprentice through Skills Group, who is working at our city centre salon. Claudia has definitely helped our business; she is versatile, willing to learn and often anticipates something before it is needed. Claudia also picks up new skills very quickly and is dedicated to her work, which makes the training process much easier for me. She is an excellent role model that other apprentices should aspire to be and is proof that apprenticeships work.

“We always use apprentices in the business and will continue to do so in the future”.

I just wanted to say the biggest thank you to Vanessa, my trainer. You have made my journey so much easier, I don’t know what I would have done without you. You have been amazing and helped me to achieve my qualification. You’ve guided me through every step of the way, I really appreciate it, Vanessa, you have been my rock.

Katie Shorland, Level 2 Hairdressing

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