George Hammer and Hellen Ward to lead apprenticeships review

Urban Retreat and Richard Ward Hair and Metrospa are among the businesses helping to pave a new future for apprenticeships training as part of a Government scheme.

This week saw the second wave of the Government’s apprenticeships “trailblazers” initiative, which launched last year and is designed to develop more employer-led standards for apprenticeships and ensure young people gain the most relevant training in their chosen industry.

There are 10 trailblazer beauty salons, or salon chains, and 10 hairdressing salons that have been drawn from a broad mix across the industry. Urban Retreat’s chairman George Hammer will be leading the beauty trailblazer group. Hellen Ward, managing director at Richard Ward Hair and Metrospa and Professional Beauty magazine columnist, will be leading the group for hair.

The work is being supported by industry bodies including Habia and Babtac. Habia’s group director of qualifications and standards Stuart Turner said, “We’re pleased to see the second wave of Trailblazers includes service industries and also a sector which is dominated by small and micro-businesses.” 

Hammer described the initiative as a massive opportunity for the industry to create meaningful qualifications. “It is about ensuring employers can be confident apprentices have the basic skills they need, so making them vastly more attractive as future employees,” he said.

Ward agreed, saying, “This is a hugely exciting time for apprenticeships. What the Government is doing chimes with what the Nation Hairdressing Federation and others have been saying for years – that apprenticeships need to be simpler, more employer-based and equip young trainees for the realities of life on the salon floor.” 

To hear Ward’s views on this and get in touch with your thoughts on industry apprenticeships, be sure to read her column in April’s issue of Professional Beauty magazine, available from March 25.