Preparing people for careers in the multi-billion pound hair and beauty business is the mission of new Bedford College assistant director Kerry Attfield.
The global industry devoted to keeping people looking good starts with teenage trainees at local salons and spas.
“We should not underestimate the contribution that hair and beauty makes to the local economy and national wealth creation. Fashions and products developed here in the UK are followed world-wide. Any one of our students could be next Paul Mitchell, or Estee Lauder,” said Kerry.
Kerry trained in hair and beauty, bought her own freehold salon property, employed apprentices and remained passionate about professional standards. She became a lecturer, rising to head of hair and media make-up at Cambridge Regional College before making the move to Bedford.
Bedford College has invested in its own High Street training salon and spa, Brooks. Here students take full-time training, or attend on day release as apprentices from local salons, some are actually employed by Brooks.
“Brooks is a great model for preparing our students for the world of real work. We need employers to take on apprentices and in turn we at Bedford College need to listen to what those salon owners want from these young people,” added Kerry,
“Young people leaving Brooks should be ready for employment or even self-employment, which the Government today is promoting so heavily. But Bedford College has to equip them with the right skills and the right attitude to make it in the world.”
Kerry will be organising an employers’ forum, looking into increase the 44 apprentices it currently trains at Brooks and to add to the 200 full-time students.