Salon owner champions apprentices and small business

Barbara McNaughton, owner of Surrey-based beauty and hair salon Elements in Oxted, has volunteered to present the industry’s view on the future of apprenticeships.

McNaughton explained to think-tank Demos, which is investigating how UK apprenticeships can be improved, how the Government’s insistence on requiring youngsters to have grade C or above in Maths and English often acted as a barrier to them fulfilling their potential within the industry.

She said: “My fear is that, as apprenticeships change, with more focus on higher level apprenticeships and even ones equivalent to degrees. More vocational apprenticeships will become less valued.”

The National Hairdressers Federation (NHF) has called for schools to put more emphasis on apprenticeships as a potential alternative to sixth form or college.

Meanwhile, Elements will also celebrate being part of Small Business Saturday’s “Small Biz 100” businesses today (October 27). 

This year the “shop local” campaigning group is championing 100 businesses through social media, one a day for 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday on December 6.

McNaughton and her team will be highlighted nationally on Twitter today, with the Small Business Saturday team also coming to the salon to make a movie.