• Ofsted Congratulates Andrew Collinge

    A cut above the rest – Ofsted Chief Inspector drops into Andrew Collinge Hairdressers to see outstanding apprentices at work

    Christine Gilbert, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, Ofsted today visited the world renowned Andrew Collinge salon in Liverpool to see how their apprenticeship programmes are producing some of the best young hairdressers in the country.

    Visiting the Andrew Collinge Training Salon in the busy Liverpool shopping district, HMCI spoke with Sarah Collinge, Training Director, trainees and staff about the ingredients of their success which has an included an outstanding rating from Ofsted. Only 5 per cent of work-based learning providers inspected in 2008/9 were rated outstanding overall by Ofsted.

    Christine Gilbert, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, Ofsted, said: “I wholeheartedly congratulate Andrew Collinge on their success and hard work in delivering such high standards for their trainees. Excellence does not happen by chance. The support and expertise which Andrew Collinge trainees can count on really helps to inspire and challenge these young people into becoming some of the most talented hairdressers in the country. There is no reason why all apprenticeships and work-based learning can’t be outstanding and I hope Andrew Collinge will be a source of inspiration to others.”

    Today Andrew Collinge provides work-based training for 150 learners with a third employed at its own salons; the remainder are employed at salons throughout Merseyside, Lancashire and Cheshire. Last year the company received over 400 applications for 75 places on its NVQ programme. No less than 99 per cent of the staff in their salons across Liverpool and Birkenhead has been through their apprenticeship programme

    For some of its young apprentices, training with Andrew Collinge opens up a world of opportunity. Trainees often get the chance to work on fashion shows and television shoots. Indeed, many Andrew Collinge graduates have gone on to work in top salons in places as far afield as USA and Australia, while others have found jobs in fashion and television.

    Sarah Collinge Training Director said, “Training has always been very important to the company. An ‘outstanding’ from Ofsted really helps to motivate our apprentices and our staff, encouraging our trainees to gain confidence in their skills and push their creative boundaries. We’re really proud of our efforts in offering young people exciting and worthwhile career opportunities”.

    Franceska Clarke, 19, from Maghull, and who works in Andrew Collinge Graduates salon, said, “The atmosphere here is really good and I always enjoy learning new techniques. Everything is so professional. I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else”. Franceska is qualified in hairdressing NVQ level 2 and is now working towards level 3.

    Julian Kempster, 18, from Cheshire Bowden, who works in Manchester Selfridges & Co, Trafford Centre salon, said, “It’s nerve racking the first time you cut a customer’s hair but there’s always someone around to give you help if you need it. The tutors here make you feel special and confident in your skills.” Julian is working towards NVQ level 2 and next year will move on to level 3.

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