Locks good for hairdressing pupils

PUBLISHED: 16:12 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:16 11 May 2010

HIGHLIGHTS: Future looks bright for hairdressing pupils

HIGHLIGHTS: Future looks bright for hairdressing pupils

EIGHT pupils from a Gorleston school are well on their way to earning their first qualification in hairdressing as part of an innovative training academy.

EIGHT pupils from a Gorleston school are well on their way to earning their first qualification in hairdressing as part of an innovative training academy.

Fusion hair salon in Gorleston High Street launched its training academy in September - with a view to giving youngsters the chance to take an early step on the career ladder.

Salon owners Tanya Sutcliffe and Kevin Huggins embarked on the ambitious project believing youngsters could gain essential skills by receiving training and teaching in the workplace.

The Fusion Academy combines theory and practical work and the aim is for the eight Oriel High School pupils aged 14 and 15 to gain an NVQ level one in hairdressing after one year.

Tanya, who has been in hairdressing for 30 years, said it was a vital early step on the ladder.

“It's been going really well. We have worked closely with Oriel High and they have been very supportive,” she said.

Tanya said the academy aimed to teach not only hairdressing but a number of skills.

“They get to see how a business works and they learn life skills. It's not just about gaining academic qualifications.”

Even though the course is in its early stages Tanya said all the pupils had made real progress since stepping into the salon.

The pupils visit the salon weekly for one day where they learn theory of hairdressing and work on the shop floor where at the moment they are mainly observing hairdressers at work.

The NVQ level one will mean the youngsters are qualified to shampoo, assist stylists and work on reception. Once they reach the age of 16 pupils can then work with chemicals and begin to learn about colour.

The pupils receive ongoing assessments from mentors at the salon and have regular visits from a member of staff at Oriel High School.

Pupil Laura Hughes, 14, has always aspired to be a hairdresser and said the course provided her with an ideal opportunity to get an early step on the career ladder.

“Some things are challenging in the course but we work together well as a team and help each other,” said Laura.

Fellow pupil Shannon Rumsby, 15, said: “I have always liked hairdressing and I think I have the skills for it, I'm good at talking.”

Shannon, who volunteers in the salon on a Saturday, said the course allowed her to improve her personal skills as well as gain a qualification.

Tanya said if she had been given the opportunity to do work-based learning at school she would have jumped at the chance.

“It's about getting the girls to do things that inspire and motivate them. Training at an earlier age will take them further in life.”

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