An Apprenticeship with style

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An Apprenticeship with style

06 October 2014

The 3rd annual VQ day, on 23 June 2010, celebrates qualifications like Apprenticeships and NVQs that give students a leg up in their chosen career.

For one student, Marty Coombes-Marshall, an Apprenticeship is the head start he needs for his dream career inhairdressing.

“I left my job in a bike shop and started an Apprenticeship because I didn’t want to lose out on money, and so I could earn a qualification as well. I was earning as much as before and gettingsomething for later life.

“I chose hairdressing because it was different. My family had all been apprentices in things like car maintenance and I just thought this would be a challenge and moreexciting.”

Now 18, Marty, from Arborfield, is well into his qualification and working at ‘Eden Lounge’ in Wokingham. But at first the complete change in his working life to a female-dominated industry raised a few eyebrows.

“When I first decided to start hairdressing there were some comments but nowadays all I hear from other guys is ‘fair play’.

“I think because of the perceptions about male hairdressers too many men are scared they’re going to be judged. So yes, I’m the only male apprentice here, but I say it’s better than working with a load of blokes!”

For Hair & beauty lecturer Mark Packham, hairdressing Apprenticeships are the way forward.

“Perhaps guys are scared off by the more ‘feminine’ perception but hairdressing is just a funjob. It’s creative, social and different every day.

“I’ve been a hairdresser for 28 years, through two major recessions, and I’ve never been short of work.

“Apprenticeships for me are the best form of training. Things you learn at work are reinforced at college and vice-versa. The apprentices all enjoy the social side of coming into college once a week, and use it to show each other different ideas and ways of doing things.”


So what’s next for Marty once he’s earned his salon stripes?

“I’ve got a few more years of training left. I hope to work on a cruise ship when I finish, but there’s so many job opportunities I’m not sure where I’ll end up!”

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