The award-winning Hair Lounge Salon (which has premises in Fforestfach and Skewen) looks to its apprentices to assist in the smooth running of the business on a day to day basis.
Senior stylist Adrian took the apprenticeship route and has worked at the Hair Lounge for almost five years.
“An apprenticeship benefitted me a lot - it gave me a great platform to learn because I was able to be more hands on from day one,” he says. “The most rewarding element of my job is seeing a big smile on my client’s face once I have completed my work with them - I always get great feedback! My advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship would be to grab it with both hands as it can lead to amazing experiences.”
For example, both Adrian and apprentice Lucy - who is studying towards a Level 2 NVQ Diploma at Gower College Swansea’s Broadway Centre - got the taste of the ‘absolutely fabulous’ life at London Fashion Week thanks to their work with the Hair Lounge.
Accompanied by Salon Director Marc Isaac, the team attended the annual event where they styled models’ hair for the runway shows. They were invited to get involved in LFW after one of Daniel Galvin's stylists at Selfridges saw their work online.
“Lucy was great, assisting us and the stylists from Daniel Galvin with confidence,” says Marc. “It was an amazing experience and one which will look great on her CV.”
“My experience at LFW was such an eye opener,” agrees Adrian. “It was an amazing step in my career to do something as important as LFW.”
The Hair Lounge has scooped numerous awards in recent years, among them the 2015 Best Salon Award from Swansea Life Magazine. In 2016, the business was officially named a ‘5* Salon’ and deemed ‘Colour Experts’ by the Good Salon Guide (the only salon in the Neath / Swansea area to receive the title).
Marc, who is also employed by Gower College Swansea as a tutor / assessor in hairdressing, has words of encouragement for anyone considering taking the apprenticeship route.
"It offers you the best training within the area or sector you are studying,” he says. “Not only that, but an apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to work with the very best in the industry and it can open doors for you to travel the world.”
“We are really delighted to have Marc on board with us,” says Bernie Wilkes, Learning Area Manager at Gower College Swansea. “As a leading employer in Swansea and the owner of an award winning salon, it is fantastic that he is able to give up-and-coming hairdressing apprentices such an amazing start to their career.”