“You have the ability to allow people to express themselves and showcase who they are.”
At VTCT, we’re passionate about Apprenticeships as a step towards your dream career. But what is being an Apprentice really like? And what skills do you need to get there? We spoke to Jody Jones, VTCT’S Business Development Manager for Apprenticeships, to discover how she got to where she is today and what tips she has for current or future apprentices.
Jody, tell us about your background and how you got to where you are today?
I was always inspired by my Mum who to this day is still hairdressing, so I started working in a hair salon at 14 as a Saturday girl whilst still in school and studying my GCSE’s, in my local village salon at the weekends. The team were so wonderful and after 2 years they asked me if I wanted to do an apprenticeship there. I then went on to do my apprenticeship in Kent. Having this team behind me still keeps me motivated for our industry to this day.
After working in different salons I worked abroad and on cruise and private ships and on my return to the UK I wanted to give back to the industry. I felt so lucky to have seen so much of the world as “just” a hairdresser and wanted to inspire the next generation.
Working in the Soho branch of Headmasters salons I began teaching apprentices and doing my teaching qualifications; I then went to work for Wella Professionals as a technical educator. By this point I realised that I wanted to go to the root of our hairdressing education to have the biggest impact – and this is why I now work for VTCT the awarding body.
Why should young people should consider an apprenticeship over other career paths?
Different types of learning environments suit different learners. The unique part of an apprenticeship is immediately having a job; you are getting paid and are in the industry from day one. An inspirational hairdresser once told me “in hairdressing we steal with our eyes”, that could not be truer in apprenticeships. You are exposed to so much and are learning without even realising.
As a Hairdresser, what do you see as the key skills that are needed in the profession?
Aside from the skill of being a hairdresser, you also master people skills, managing an environment effectively, managing your time effectively, science related to colour, cut and haircare, lip reading (!) – There will always be towels to wash and dry and making a good cuppa will forever be your party trick! But on a more serious note, you have the greatest gift as a hairdresser. You have the ability to allow people to express themselves and showcase who they are – that is a truly the most amazing thing you can do for someone.
What do you see as the key ‘skills for life’ for young people today?
The key skills of this generation are much the same as what I learnt above, but we now have names and accredited courses for them. Mental Health Awareness, Sustainability and LGBTQ+ are areas in which VTCT and Skillsfirst have proudly developed qualifications.
These are what wrap up and put a ribbon on hairdressing these days. Show up with these in tow and there will be no stopping you. By showing you have not only got passion for the hairdressing industry but also how you influence the people and the planet around you makes going to work much more satisfying.
If you’ve been inspired by Jody’s story and are keen to develop, or support someone else on their journey towards their dream career, visit our website https://www.vtct.org.uk/apprenticeships/