Learning about the world of work is a snip with apprenticehsips says Wisbech hairdresser

Top to Toe salon staff

Top to Toe salon staff - Credit: Archant

A Wisbech hairdressing salon has ranked among the top 100 in the country, alongside main players like British Airways and Nestle, for offering apprenticeships to young people.

Top to Toe, owned and run by Paul and Sarah Davies, has also won the top apprenticeship employer in central Eastern England.

The news has prompted MP Steve Barclay to urge more Fen firms to offer apprenticeships as a perfect way to teach young people the essential skills needed for work.

Mr Davies, who has owned Top to Toe for four years having previously owned a salon in Sutton Bridge, has always supported apprentices and has trained at least 15 over the past decade.

The salon employs 12 people in the hairdressing team, the majority of which were apprentices or are doing an apprenticeship.

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The current hair salon manager was the first taken on 12 years ago.

A new kindergarten scheme has been set up, employing those in their last year of school for three months at a time, to give them an opportunity to learn more about the industry before deciding to commit to it as a career.

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Mr Davies said: “It works for us because we like to take on apprentices at 16 so by operating the kindergarten system we have an opportunity to spot talent early and we can offer them an apprenticeship before they are snapped up by someone else.”

He added: “Young people have to stay in full-time education until they are 18 and apprenticeships are an ideal alternative to staying at school and doing A-levels. A lot of professions like accountants and solicitors are now looking at introducing higher apprenticeships taking trainees straight after A-levels rather than out of university.”

Mr Barclay, MP for North East Cambs, said: “Congratulations to Paul and Sarah and the team at Top to Toe. Apprenticeships are an important pathway into employment for young people, it offers them a chance to learn essential skills while training for career.”

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