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Saks Apprenticeships Awarded Double Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ Rating

by eleanor / last updated December 17, 2021

Sak Apprenticeships

Saks Apprenticeships, a UK leading hairdressing, barbering and beauty training provider, is celebrating its second consecutive ‘Outstanding Provider’ rating from inspection body Ofsted.

The national education provider to independent hairdressers across the UK provides training through an extensive network of educators, who provide in salon apprentice training across the country, and also in-house via its Saks academies located in Darlington and Maidstone.

Ofsted awarded the training provider a full suite of grade one ratings during its most recent inspection, continuing the theme from its last inspection 15 years ago.

On the back of this latest accolade, Saks Apprenticeships is offering salons the chance to use its services to help attract more people into the hair and beauty industry. This comes with a salary for the students and an incentive payment to the salons, creating a win-win situation for all parties.

The Ofsted report noted that the apprentices demonstrate highly professional behaviours and attitudes to their work. Additionally, a strong focus on professional behaviours embedded in the curriculum set a clear standard for apprentices to follow.

The report added that Saks Apprenticeships’ programmes enable learners to prepare well for working with clients, and help them to develop a passion for hairdressing and beauty therapy through their work in prestigious salons. Apprentices also benefit from a range of professional training that is additional to the main programme. Therefore, they become highly-valued employees and make very good progress in developing their knowledge and skills.

“When the company was founded over 20 years ago, I had high hopes it would transform the nature of training for hairdressing and barbering careers, and here we are with this double accolade from Ofsted,” said managing director, Tina Ockerby. “It’s a real credit to our apprentices and educators – and of course the salons across the UK who support their learners so wholeheartedly.”

She added: “There is currently a national shortage of stylists so enrolling an apprentice is the perfect way for a salon to gain a very enthusiastic extra pair of hands, and share their skills creating home grown talent to meet their own standards. And with so many different career options available to learners after they complete their apprenticeship it’s one of the best ways for a young person to get a foothold in what could be a career for life. A stylist, beauty therapist, barber, artist or educator – the world is their oyster.”

The Ofsted report also recognised how, during the pandemic, Saks Apprenticeships came into their own after the closure of salons during the initial lockdown, with the provider immediately sending hairdressing and beauty equipment to learners. A Facebook forum and Zoom sessions were used to schedule demonstrations and lessons, setting daily tasks for apprentices and encouraging them to post their work.

Tina Ockerby added: “We knew we had to make a huge effort when the coronavirus struck to avoid losing our apprentices to lockdown. Our team and the employers all went above and beyond the requirements of the apprenticeship standard and a remote learning survey of apprentices gave us an excellent rating of 4.5 out of 5. It’s not just about delivering the programme – here we do everything to an exceptional level with fastidious attention to detail and support 24/7 through the whole network. That’s why we’re the best UK educator in this sector.”

The chair of the Saks Education governing body, Phil Hatton added: “Managers have been involved in the steering groups for the development of standards-based apprenticeships in hair and beauty since day one. They are the best provider I have ever seen for self-assessment, quality improvement, professional development of staff, support for apprentices, safeguarding and the focus that all have on developing practical skills. I am proud to be associated with them and what they do so well.”

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