Students with a hunger to learn will want access to information at any time and from anywhere, and the internet offers this possibility.
Manufacturers, private academies, and salon operators are all starting to embrace online training as part of the educational mix.
One of the first salons to recognise the benefits of online learning was Jordan Burr in London. Owners Jo Jordan and Glen Burr founded the hairdressing-training.com website in 1999 and it has increased both in terms of its offering, and the number of users, and has continued to be a pioneering force in online training.
Says Glen: “Online training with hairdressing-training.com allows trainees and hairdressers easy access to learn at their own pace. It can be used in the workplace or at home.
“Learning online is an aid for trainees to gain knowledge and be able to work at their own pace.
“Hairdressing-training.com is available in more than 200 UK colleges of further education, is free of charge and is one of the first training websites to be made available on mobile phones, and soon as podcasts.
“The site is at the forefront of online education with the full support of the Learning Skills Council, offering new and creative technologies to our industry.”
The site is due for a relaunch later this year, so watch this space.
ECH Head Training
Glasgow-based Ellen Conlin Hair and Beauty launched its HEAD Training scheme in 2006, and was the first salon in Scotland to have its training scheme accredited by the Scottish Qualification Authority.
According to salon co-owner, Ellen Conlin-Main, the HEAD training scheme is designed to give young members of staff as much training as possible without them having to attend an outside college, which ultimately saves the business time and money.
External verifiers can also access the online course from their home or office.
The course can be completed in 12 to 18 months and covers everything from team building and selling techniques to barbering and hair colouring. Students are constantly assessed throughout this time to ensure they maintain a high standard.
At the end of the course, the candidate will have created a portfolio of achievements, outlining their capabilities in detail as a reference point for the future.
Says Ellen: “Online training is definitely the way forward. It has proven to be valuable and we have a large number of determined and driven youngsters looking to join our salon because of the high-quality training available to them.
“Not only is the HEAD online training scheme a practical way to learn and make headway in hairdressing, it is helping our youngsters fulfil their career goals quickly and efficiently. It has made recruiting staff easier and reduced staff turnover.”
“Affordable, accessible and instant,” is how the creative team behind Lee Stafford’s www.myhairdressers.com describe the training available through its site – which pretty much sums up the appeal of online training in general.
Myhairdressers.com is a subscription-based web learning tool offering in-depth step-by-step instruction from experienced creative minds, including Lee Stafford and Stacey Broughton.
The site allows salon owners and staff access to up to 24 detailed step-by-steps, including classic, progressive and commercial work, and includes a cut of the month from Lee.
Alan d comprises four London and Surrey-based salons and one of the largest privately owned training academies in the UK.
Two years ago it launched an online presence selling training DVDs, but is in the process of launching a dedicated training site.
Says Edward Hemmings, creative director at Alan d: “Our website regularly gets 100,000 hits per month and we realised we could do more with it. We investigated the possibility of breaking our collection down into downloadable segments available to hairdressers worldwide.
“The educational website will be launched imminently and will include regular new training films as well as practical NVQ-based programmes covering setting, perming and other techniques that many salon owners struggle to teach.”
Manufacturers are also realising the power of the web when it comes to education. Schwarzkopf Professional, for example, is now offering its training expertise online.
Registration is free and those signing up will have access to interactive learning tools, the latest Essential Looks collection and step by steps.
Comments Mark Todd, professional partner services manager and head of technical division for Schwarzkopf Professional: “ASK online will not replace the current support we offer all of our salons for in-house education, but will work in synergy, providing a 24-hour/365-days per year opportunity for information-led requests.
“Our web platform provides daily updates on all fields of creative and product-related subject matter, and will not only supplement the training we provide but also embed the relevance to salons of web-based media with no time restrictions.”
As an increasing number of trainers recognise the power of web-based training, education will continue to become easier to access and, like the internet itself, the possibilities are limitless.