Hair Professionals Call for ‘Independent Industry Accreditation’ to Replace Apprenticeships

by charlottegw / last updated June 25, 2018


New and exclusive research from awareness group Choose Hair has found that 98% of hairdressing professionals would rather have an ‘independent industry accreditation’ system, instead of the current government-backed apprenticeship scheme.

The survey* of those who work in the hairdressing sector found that:

  • 70% believe the government’s current stance on apprenticeships is unhelpful to the industry; creating a layer of red tape meaning they can no longer easily offer the Saturday job route to training and employment (making it more expensive to the salon) (49%) and that apprenticeships still have a stigma attached to them, meaning young people don’t want to be one (21%)

Emma Bavin of Choose Hair said: “The Government has tried to create a one-size fits all approach to our industry through the current apprenticeship scheme and despite 85% of salons supporting it by offering apprenticeships, for the majority, the system just doesn’t work as it is too restrictive for the salon owners – and our survey has highlighted this.

“Most businesses have said they would rather see a return to the ‘Saturday job’ route into hairdressing accompanied by an industry accreditation system delivered by an independent governing body. This would ensure an industry-wide standard recognisable across the country, from salon-to-salon but with the freedom for salons to deliver the training around their business needs – much like you’d find in other professions.”

When asked what the main drawback to having an apprentice in the salon was, 55% said their apprentices weren’t happy doing the more menial jobs of sweeping up or making hot drinks – as they didn’t consider this part of the apprenticeship training. Furthermore 19% said it was hard juggling the apprentice’s college time with working in the salon. However, 70% said it was lovely to train someone on and see them develop, when asked what the main benefits were.

Emma continued: “Hairdressing is a nurturing industry and we know that salons want to see the next generation of stylists and colourists walk through their doors – but they want to make it as attractive as possible. By replacing the apprenticeship with a CPD style accreditation, it would reposition hairdressing as a profession, to be taken seriously and to be desired by young people – much like working in marketing or business development.”

With a skills shortage affecting the hair industry, which is expected to continue into the next decade, according to 93% of respondents – many believe there needs to a new approach to attracting young people into the profession, as well as a re-education of young people and their parents regarding the kinds of roles available within the hair industry; especially as 2 in 3 UK women would not recommend a career in hairdressing to their children or family friend**.

For further details on Choose Hair visit

*Choose Hair – Industry survey of 50 leading hairdressing professionals representing the view of themselves and their salons. Conducted April 2018.

** Schwarzkopf Professional Survey conducted by Independent research company OnePoll, April 2018. Survey of 1000 UK women aged 18 – 65.

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