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DCG Success Stories

Solo Hair Design – Employer

Jo Hopkinson with her team at Solo Hair Design

Study Type: Apprenticeship
Study Location: Workplace
Subject Studied: Hair

Hair apprentices ensure Derbyshire salon gets lots of positive exposure

Hair salon owner Jo Hopkinson credits DCG apprentices with keeping her business fresh and exciting – and ensuring it gets plenty of positive exposure on social media.

Jo, who owns Solo Hair Design in Alfreton, sees apprenticeships as vital and has consistently taken on trainee stylists since she first opened her business 27 years ago.

She said: “Apprentices are key to any business, especially these days when we rely so heavily on social media to promote what we do.

“The young people I employ know all about platforms such as Tik-Tok and Instagram and are happy to post photos and tag us.

“Through them, we get to showcase our hair designs and get  ‘likes’ from some of the big hair product firms. As a result of what’s been posted we’ve had clients come to us from Sheffield and Manchester as well as locally.”

Jo, a former Derby College apprentice who attended the old Mackworth site, is pleased to have come full circle and offer the same opportunities to today’s young hairdressers.

Employing five staff at Solo, Jo currently has one level 2 apprentice stylist as well as one who recently completed her apprenticeship. She now plans to take on a new DCG apprentice this September.

She added: “It’s good that our apprentices learn on the job and see the caring, customer service side of working in a salon, such as how to talk to clients and answer the phone.

“Through college they also get chance to take part in competitions and be in a classroom with people their own age, which is also important.”

Jo is pleased with the training support she has received from Derby College over the years but thinks it’s also down to salon owners and managers to invest some of their own time to train young staff.

She added: “It’s not enough to leave your apprentices to sweep up, do the shampooing and make the tea.

“You need to take time out to help and guide them so you can see their potential.

“I’ve had apprentices who’ve been quite shy at first but it’s lovely to see them grow in confidence.”

“Giving them more responsibility is not only good for them but it’s good for your salon too.

“Customers judge everything about a salon – not just how their hair looks – right from the moment they walk through the door so you have to get it right.

Solo Hair Design

Apprentices are key to any business, especially these days when we rely so heavily on social media to promote what we do.