Anne Veck Oxford on how to plan meaningful industry placements
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Continuing innovation in the provision of technical education
Anne Veck has been offering hairdressing and fashion photography services from their Oxford city centre salon since 1991. The business employs 13 staff and welcome 850 customers each month.
Providing quality services to a diverse client-group is a priority for the salon and Directors Anne and Keith, who make sure staff are confident styling all hair types, including textured hair.
The salon has a proud history of offering technical education and Keith has previously sat on the hair and beauty apprenticeships trailblazer group. Anne Veck have been recognised by the local authority for their provision of training opportunities; they currently employ 2 apprentices and host a number of work-experience students from schools each year.
The salon is now looking to host T Level students, recruited through training providers they already have relationships with.
Planning a meaningful placement
All potential placement students are asked to submit their CV and undergo an interview. If successful at this stage they are invited for a half day trial shift, to ensure they ‘fit’ with the salon team. This process has been important for ensuring that the right students are selected.
Communication with the student and their training provider is key to planning a meaningful placement. Anne Veck feel that as the placement provider, it is important to understand the content of the course students are studying, in order to best meet their learning requirements, as well as their personal interests.
A job description is provided for all roles, including those fulfilled by work experience and placement students. This acts as a useful tool to explain to students what they can expect from the role, and what is expected of them.
Return on investment
- Students fill gaps in capacity, for example providing shampoo & conditioning treatment services, supporting clients and preparing equipment, enabling experienced staff to focus on styling.
- Placement students form the talent pipeline and are a long-term investment. Training a student to individual salon standards means they can become an impactful full-time member of staff upon qualification. The financial and time investment in their training is very quickly rewarded.
- Students bring in new ideas and perspectives, by providing them with an industry placement this gives them a great opportunity to put their learning into practice which has positive benefits for both the student and the employer.
Making T Levels work
Anne Veck recognise the changing landscape of technical education and want to adapt to it. Working with trusted providers to recruit their T Level students should mitigate any risks associated with taking on this new type of placement student.
“We are certainly open to T Level students joining us. Our instinct is to do what we have done before – we know it works well and it helps us as a business – which is to go for a one day a week placement.”
It has always been most important to Anne Veck that the individual is the right fit for the team. Being proactive, passionate, and personable are crucial foundations for all of their staff, irrespective of their training route.
The salon aims to host students who are in their second year of their course. Having already undergone a year of training, the team believe that second year students will possess many of the skills to be effective in the salon.
Taking on T Level students alongside our existing apprenticeship and work-experience is a good opportunity for our industry to expand participation and ‘grow our own’ talent pipeline.