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We're glad you're considering taking your barbering to the next level and would love to have a chat about what we could do for you - we look forward to hearing from you.

6 Wimborne Road
Poole, Dorset, BH15 2BU
United Kingdom

01202 649100

The UK's elite Barbering College based in Poole, Dorset; offering a wide range of qualifications from the most respected barbers in the business (including NVQ Levels 2 & 3)

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Keep up to date with everything happening relating to barber training and our courses.

NEW Apprenticeship Standards

Luke Seall

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Apprenticeships are changing and here is what you need to know….

The old apprenticeship frameworks have been given a shake up and the new and improved apprenticeship standards have now been launched. The new standards have been developed by employer led groups called Trailblazers and are designed to develop apprentices skills and knowledge specific to their job role. 

Here are some of the changes and how they might affect you:

Training:

The new apprenticeship standards are a level 2 qualification but are set at a higher standard than the old frameworks and they include some skills and knowledge from the level 3 NVQ, including shaving.

The mandatory units are:

  • Consultation
  • Shampoo, condition and treat the hair and scalp
  • Cutting hair using barbering techniques to create a variety of looks
  • Style and finish men’s hair
  • Cut facial hair into shape
  • Shaving services

There are no optional units.

Assessment:

There has been major changes in the way the apprentices will be assessed. Gone are the days where your teacher will assess you throughout the qualification in your college, training centre or workplace. The new and improved assessment process will work similarly to a driving test where your instructor will teach you to drive and an independent examiner will conduct your test. In the new standards, the employer and training provider will provide the training and an Independent End Point Examiner will assess the skills, knowledge and behaviours through practical observations and oral questioning. The overall grade for the apprenticeship will be determined by the performance in the end point assessment which will be graded Pass/Distinction or Fail.

VTCT are currently recruiting a nationwide team of Independent End Point Assessment Examiners to conduct end point assessment for the new hair and barbering apprenticeship standards. If you feel you have the right commercial experience and want to be part of raising the standards of hairdressing and barbering apprentices then apply at www.vtct.co.uk/vacancies/

Co-funding:

From the 1st May 2017, the way apprenticeships are funded has changed. For smaller UK employers – with an annual payroll bill of under £3 million, employers will be required to make a 10% contribution to apprenticeship training and the government will fund the other 90%. The employer will need to agree a payment schedule with the training provider and this cost will include the cost of the end point assessment. The training provider must prove that the employer has paid their contribution as a condition of the government paying its contribution.

All qualifications will remain completely government funded for apprentices ages 16-18. 

There will still be an age grant for employers who take on a 16-18 year old apprentice to meet the extra costs associated with employing a young apprentice as research suggests that 16-18 year old apprentices can require significantly more supervision and pastoral care. This will now be a £1000 payment to be paid to employers in two equal instalments at 3 months and 12 months into the apprenticeship.

Colleges and training providers receive a lot of bad press for the lack of skills being taught and from what I’ve seen, this is mainly because a lot of the time it’s hairdressers teaching barbering. The new end point assessment will put a stop to this and ensure that only learners with competent skills and knowledge will pass this stage of the qualification by having Independent End Point Examiners with significant industry experience conducting the tests.

Personally I am really glad of these new standards. I went to the initial interviews at VTCT to become an Independent End Point Examiner and was given further information about the process and it will definitely ensure a stricter training and assessment process – I will definitely be tightening the ship at my own academy. I need my students to pass first time, as a retest will be very expensive and embarrassing.

This is a huge stride in the right direction for ensuring that we are raising the standards for our industry. 

Barbering Standards

Luke Seall

hai-phung-247271-unsplash.jpg

Apprenticeships are changing and here is what you need to know….

The old apprenticeship frameworks have been given a shake up and the new and improved apprenticeship standards have now been launched. The new standards have been developed by employer led groups called Trailblazers and are designed to develop apprentices skills and knowledge specific to their job role. 

Here are some of the changes and how they might affect you:

Training:

The new apprenticeship standards are a level 2 qualification but are set at a higher standard than the old frameworks and they include some skills and knowledge from the level 3 NVQ, including shaving.

The mandatory units are:

  • Consultation
  • Shampoo, condition and treat the hair and scalp
  • Cutting hair using barbering techniques to create a variety of looks
  • Style and finish men’s hair
  • Cut facial hair into shape
  • Shaving services

There are no optional units.

Assessment:

There has been major changes in the way the apprentices will be assessed. Gone are the days where your teacher will assess you throughout the qualification in your college, training centre or workplace. The new and improved assessment process will work similarly to a driving test where your instructor will teach you to drive and an independent examiner will conduct your test. In the new standards, the employer and training provider will provide the training and an Independent End Point Examiner will assess the skills, knowledge and behaviours through practical observations and oral questioning. The overall grade for the apprenticeship will be determined by the performance in the end point assessment which will be graded Pass/Distinction or Fail.

VTCT are currently recruiting a nationwide team of Independent End Point Assessment Examiners to conduct end point assessment for the new hair and barbering apprenticeship standards. If you feel you have the right commercial experience and want to be part of raising the standards of hairdressing and barbering apprentices then apply at www.vtct.co.uk/vacancies/

Co-funding:

From the 1st May 2017, the way apprenticeships are funded has changed. For smaller UK employers – with an annual payroll bill of under £3 million, employers will be required to make a 10% contribution to apprenticeship training and the government will fund the other 90%. The employer will need to agree a payment schedule with the training provider and this cost will include the cost of the end point assessment. The training provider must prove that the employer has paid their contribution as a condition of the government paying its contribution.

All qualifications will remain completely government funded for apprentices ages 16-18. 

There will still be an age grant for employers who take on a 16-18 year old apprentice to meet the extra costs associated with employing a young apprentice as research suggests that 16-18 year old apprentices can require significantly more supervision and pastoral care. This will now be a £1000 payment to be paid to employers in two equal instalments at 3 months and 12 months into the apprenticeship.

Colleges and training providers receive a lot of bad press for the lack of skills being taught and from what I’ve seen, this is mainly because a lot of the time it’s hairdressers teaching barbering. The new end point assessment will put a stop to this and ensure that only learners with competent skills and knowledge will pass this stage of the qualification by having Independent End Point Examiners with significant industry experience conducting the tests.

Personally I am really glad of these new standards. I went to the initial interviews at VTCT to become an Independent End Point Examiner and was given further information about the process and it will definitely ensure a stricter training and assessment process – I will definitely be tightening the ship at my own academy. I need my students to pass first time, as a retest will be very expensive and embarrassing.

This is a huge stride in the right direction for ensuring that we are raising the standards for our industry. 

Health & Safety - The Basics

Luke Seall

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With no license to trade in the UK, as a barber you are responsible for the health and safety in the barbershop.

A few months back I jumped into a barbershop for a trim up. The cut was good but the hygiene was shocking. That evening I felt myself itching the back of my head as I watched the TV. If I were a normal client I never would have returned. I always say to my staff “a clean shop is a happy shop”.

So lets start with the basics:

All equipment must be sterilised before use! Clipper blades should be sprayed with a disinfectant spray and regularly oiled. Also clippers can become unaligned, especially if you travel with them. You should check that the blades are aligned properly or they will cut clients. If you do take your clippers home, put them in a secure box so the blades can’t move around.

Always change your Barbicide regularly. Barbicide is diluted similar to how you would dilute squash – one part Barbicide to eight parts water and leave your tools in the solution for 10 minutes. When you take your tools out, use a tint brush to clean in the hard to reach areas.

Milton sterilising tablets are a great way of sterilising your shaving brushes. After they have come out of the liquid, put them in a UV steriliser - your hot towel machine should have this.

‘One man one blade’, use this slogan, tell your friends and lets spread the word. No matter how little a blade is used, it is ONE blade PER customer. So even if you use the blade just to go over the client’s neck hair, the blade needs to be changed. I know some of you will use expensive blades, so you may need to switch to run of the mill cheaper blades for necklines to save those pennies.

After use, your blades MUST go in a yellow sharps box which will need to get disposed of properly. I have spoken to wet goods companies who tell me that landfill sites have given them a telling off because blades have been found in their empty containers. You can buy a yellow sharps box from your local wholesalers for under a tenner.

Glove up! When shaving you should be wearing protective gloves. Try using a smaller glove so the fit is nice and tight. If you start shaving wearing gloves it will just become second nature. When completing nationally recognised qualifications, you will not pass a shaving assessment without wearing gloves and you may even find your insurance would become invalid.

Consultation, consultation, consultation! A thorough consultation at the start of the service will allow you to look at the hair and see if the client has any contra indications. Remember once you have started a cut with headline present in the hair you have to finish it.

 

Using a proper barbers chair (with reclining back) will save you years of discomfort and enable you to carry out beard trims and shaves more effectively. Adjust the height as often as necessary to ensure that you are comfortable.

Your electrical equipment should be visually checked before each use to ensure it is of safe standard. Although it is not law to get them PAT tested, it is good practice to get all your electrical equipment tested annually as some defects can only be found by testing.

Also remember you MUST have valid insurance. If you’re self-employed you should have your own insurance. I use Gary Crowder at Just Hair Insurance.

I could go on and on, but as I have said before with 27 years as a barber and 12 years teaching barbering I would really like to make this column as useful as I can and help my fellow barbers.

If you would like anymore guidance on the rules of health and safety in the barbershop you can get my book in all Salon Services stores around the country. Also, if your salon or barbershop takes on work placements from your local college then the chances are you have had someone in from the college doing health and safety checks on your shop. This is a great way to confirm you are complying with all regulations.