Apprenticeships style the future of Welsh capital salon

Posted on by karen.smith

Ken Picton with general manager Natalie Hinton – apprenticeships integral to salon’s success.

Ken Picton with general manager Natalie Hinton – apprenticeships integral to salon’s success.

One of the most sought after hairdressing and barbering salons in Wales for apprenticeships is Ken Picton Salon in Cardiff Bay. The salon has been training apprentices for a long time and has worked with Bridgend-based ISA Training to deliver its programme for the past nine years.

In 2003, the company’s then training provider pulled out of delivering in Wales and the salon business decided to set up as a City & Guilds training centre, becoming accredited a year later.

At any time, 25 per cent of Ken Picton Salon staff are apprentices. Over the past five years, it has employed 23 apprentices and currently has nine with a further three starting at the business. The company provides Foundation Apprenticeships in Hairdressing, Barbering, Customer Service and Team Leading and Apprenticeships in Hairdressing, Barbering and Management.

This investment in training and developing staff has resulted in the company being shortlisted for the Small Employer of the Year award at this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which takes place at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on October 20.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the prestigious awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals, employers and learning providers who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships, Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeship programmes. The Awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

“We have always focused on training within our salon to provide unique, high quality learning for our apprentices with the objective of providing career progression,” said Natalie Hinton, Ken Picton Salon’s general manager. “By taking charge of our own training we were able to ensure apprentices were fully prepared and equipped for the salon environment, receiving a mixture of on the job salon experience and dedicated learning support.”

The salon believes its success lies in its apprentices. It welcomes 25,000 clients a year – 500 a week – and has a client retention rate of 95 per cent.

“Our apprenticeship programme is integral to our growth,” added Natalie.

The salon also runs school work experience programmes, taking on five pupils every year, most of whom return as apprentices.

Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science Julie James congratulated Ken Picton Salon and the other 32 shortlisted award finalists. “We are proud to be delivering one of the most successful apprenticeship programmes in Europe with success rates in Wales remaining well above 80 per cent,” she said.

“Developing skilled people is vital for our economy. We have some truly exceptional apprentices here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements. Equally important are the learning providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices.”

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