Must Do, See & Buy in The Shire by The Hair Shops

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My Apprenticeship at The Hair Shop with Rachel Michie

As part of Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Week we decided to give you all an insight to the life of our very own apprentice Rachel Michie.

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What attracted you to a career in hairdressing?

I have always been a creative person, I love experimenting with current fashion trends and love making people look and feel good, so hairdressing was a great choice for me.

Why did you decide to go down the apprenticeship route?


I think if you are in the right salon with a variety of clients it’s possible to progress at your own pace, so I looked around to find somewhere that did a Workplace Modern Apprenticeship and that’s how my hairdressing career started at The Hair Shop.

How long have you been an apprentice?

Ive been working for Sarah Franklin at The Hair Shop for 2 years in August. I have completed my Level 2 and just started my Level 3 to complete my MA, I have achieved this by working through my SVQ course work with my workplace assessor and taking work home to complete.

What does a typical week involve for you?

In my first 2 years I have been learning basic hairdressing techniques and organising my colleagues who may require assistance. My job is to see that everyone is organised and clients are happy, so each day runs smoothly.  Now that I am studying for Level 3 I am doing more clients and gaining confidence.

What elements of the apprenticeship have you enjoyed the most?

I love doing colouring and long hair dressing because it brings out my creativity. We have recently had a day workshop in long hair dressing which allows me to experiment and push the boundaries.

What advice would you offer a young person looking to enter an apprenticeship in hairdressing?

There is a myth that hairdressing is easy, standing around and speaking, but it’s far from easy! It’s great to start at the bottom and work yourself up because that way you understand what needs to be done and the importance of doing things right. As a stylist you are selling yourself and your skills so it’s important when you are responsible for someone’s appearance to get it spot on.

What goals do you have for your career in hairdressing – and how will your apprenticeship help you achieve these?

My dream is have my own salons and expand with beauty services. I have a love with all things to do with beauty and make up, which goes hand in hand with hairdressing. I have recently began a personal blog to explore my interests in social media and how it is so useful in a business – http://www.fashionandbeautyobsessed.wordpress.com

Day 13 & 14 – A Farewell to Arms

Day 13 & 14 – A Farewell to Arms

Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd November


Well things are coming to a close and last minute assessments are being finalised and ticked off. Gifts are being exchanged and  the employers are muttering about how many students they want to take on whilst the youngsters are looking forward to their end of course trip to Nicco Park. It’s an afternoon of thrills and spills and they deserve a wee treat after all the effort they have put in in the last 6 weeks. We were mighty relieved to find it was a fraction of the price of Alton Towers thank goodness. We decided this would be the perfect time to say goodbye rather than going back to the village with them and said our sad farewells at the exit before they piled onto the school bus. I had thought that I would be able to handle all the emotion knowing they have a few more life skills and have a path to follow but it was hard.

Sarah

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Day 12 – The Secret Window

Day 12 – The Secret Window

Thursday 20th November


It’s always a bit of a laugh driving around and seeing some of the bill boards advertising stuff. Loved the wedding themed ‘Your love is like steel, our furniture compliments it.’  It was advertising those steel man cupboards, where no self-respecting woman would dare go. The ones that men have in the garage to keep the drain rods, sprockets and funny shaped sponges to clean those tricky places on their cars … only in this instance, in the picture, it was in a house with saris, girly blouses and heels stacked neatly one on top of the other. Maybe that’s what really happens in a man cupboard, who am I to say? I think all us women should find the household torch and sneak out and dare to have a peak….you have been warned!

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Day 11 – In her Shoes

Day 11 – In her Shoes
Wednesday 19th November

Well the high light of the last couple of days has been preparing for Show time. At the end of the course the students put on a show for local employers and everything is quite fraught. It’s times like these that I am so grateful to the experience of the  Kemnay Panto days and I have to say these kids knock spots of you lazy dead beats who could never be bothered to learn your lines…and you know who you are! It’s been such fun and I love the enthusiasm and fun that they have all had. Last night I nipped down the road to buy some kind of Indian garment to wear to present the acts. I ended up getting a ‘traditional designer frock’ according to the man in the shop. At the time I had Tess or Claudia from Strictly in my head but I think I ended up more like a Christmas Puppet you stick on the mantelpiece a week before the festivities. These cultural things are as tricky as an Indian presenting something in the UK and ending up on stage looking like someone in a Cor Blimey Love a Duck Pearly King outfit wearing a See You Jimmy Hat. Nevertheless it seemed to go down a treat with adults and children alike and the audience went wild with excitement at some of the acts.
Oh and if anyone is having a bit of a do at Christmas please don’t hesitate to invite me round to sit on your mantelpiece.
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Day 9 & 10 – Gone with the Wind

Day 9 & 10 – Gone with the Wind
Monday 17th – Tuesday 18th November

This year is the 95th anniversary of Hermann Gmeiner who dedicated this village in Kolkata and I must admit that some parts of it look a little shabby…but not the children. They are full of life and obviously very happy which is testament to the good works these SOS Villages provide. There is a ready source of ‘models’ and inquisitive wee rascals for our students as they all need their hair cut at some point and even most of our students want something or other. This week we started on straightening hair and practically everyone wanted to be a volunteer for this whether they needed it or not. We chose Ruby who is loving her silky shiny locks and I must say it has transformed her.
We are expecting every single student(22) to be taken for three months training with various employers and it has been interesting finding out how the system works. Hairdressing is a blossoming market out here and some of the salons are national chains with hundreds of shops throughout India. Most of our students are from SOS Village Guwhati in Assam and therefore are temporarily staying here so they will still get placements in their home city.
Not only are our students learning hairdressing and employability skills but also English is not their first language. Even so they make such an effort to communicate and I have absolute belief that some of them will become great role models and very successful.
When I left tonight there were several police around the complex (with guns) and I was worried there was some sort of alert on but eventually I found out that another child had been dropped off. They can only flourish here.
Sarah Franklin
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Day 7 – 8 Carry on up the Khyber‏

Day 7 –  8    Carry on up the Khyber‏
Saturday 15th – Sunday 16th November

This first week has gone so quickly I can hardly believe it but even I can see a real improvement in everyone we are teaching from day to day. I have actually managed to remember everyone’s names as well but I think all my new Indian chums on fb helps with that:).
Once the teaching had finished on Saturday we spent the rest of the weekend doing a bit of sightseeing around Kolkata. The simplest idea was to hire a car and driver to see as many sites as possible minimising any dramas. Surprisingly the main tourist sights are relatively few for such a large city and usually the good stuff is not always possible when time is limited. We managed to see an image of the Raj with the majestic Victoria Monument where some of the officers had 110 servants to 4 gentlemen. I say old chap…that’s a bit of a rum do isn’t it? Anyone for a game of cricket old bean? see you on the lawn at Tifin yah! So you get the idea very quickly of how things used to be.
We then sped off with our driver who had no white gloves on to our river trip, timing it perfectly for the sunset. Complete with live Indian romantic music. Splendid!  Why Janet’s husband Peter, has to snuffle about all the street vendors and mannies carrying noxious looking liquids, tasting everything he sees is beyond us two refined ladies. But we just watch knowing he will come to a sticky end eventually. And that definitely will not be very romantic.
Tootle pip!
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