Jet Hairdressing Academy – Training in Action

by bathamm / last updated May 4, 2016

Jet Hairdressing AcademyJet Hairdressing Academy and Strangeways Salon in leigh-on-Sea have long had a relationship, with Jet acting as an outside training provider for years before in 2009 Jet founder Jill Kitchenham decided to buy the salon, firmly cementing the relationship between the two companies.

The relationship is growing even stronger. Since July 2015 Strangeways has been home to the third Jet Hairdressing Academy, joining those already established in Basildon and Chelmsford. Says Jill: “We are utilising the space as a local base for our numerous apprentices in the Southend area. In line with the Jet ethos, student classes are small, a maximum of 10 students, so each individual’s needs are fully met.”

The new academy offers a full range of training including both advanced and intermediate apprenticeships, together with practical seminars for those wanting to refresh or top up their skills. And at both the salon and the academy, for extra-curricular enhancement and to develop students’ creative artistry, creative director Martyn Holmes runs master classes for creative practical learning and bespoke one-to-one training.

On why she felt Strangeways and Jet were an obvious partnership Jill says: “Jet has an excellent reputation for delivering training tailored to individual salons, working to their standards from the start, apprentices gaining qualifications on the way as opposed to the focus being the qualification itself. This, along with Strangeways reputation for quirky individualism, means Jet’s approach fits exactly with their training goals. Our combined approach saw their apprentices aiming high and a natural rapport developed.”

The close link with Strangeways has benefited the academy in many ways, says Jill. “The academy has benefitted by experiencing the problems faced by salon employers, enabling a flexibility in our approach to training and to adopt different processes to help employers train apprentices more efficiently – both at Strangeways and the 70 other salons we work with across Essex.

“Equally, Strangeways has benefitted from the continual development of Jet’s training techniques and it has helped pilot several innovative ideas, including extra topics such as Salon Survival Skills, which includes financial aspects and awareness of running a salon, BootCamp Taster Courses and creative, practical seminars.”

Jill is optimistic about the future of both her businesses and their flourishing relationship. “We won’t be standing still and will continue to harness our special synergy,” she says. “For Jet, there will be significant changes in apprenticeships as government reforms are implemented, such as the introduction of Trailblazers and a levy system for larger businesses, which we will navigate to ensure the quality of what we offer is not compromised. For Strangeways, developing young talent and guiding them to build a loyal clientele will continue, with the possibility of opening off-shoot salons run by young stylists as they become established.”


Recognition and Achievements

  • The National Apprentice Service has recognised Strangeways as one of the top 100 businesses from more than 1,600 entrants in the National Apprenticeship Awards.
  • Jet Hairdressing Training has been going for 18 years. I was a National Apprenticeship winner in 2014.
  • Since opening in 1988 Jet Hairdressing Academy has trained more than 4,000 apprentices, of these around 30 have gone on to open their own businesses.
  • Some 500 have gone on to train as tutors and assessors.



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