Dani Claridge, at OPEN Hairdressing Hemel Hempstead, has come a long way since she first started her OPEN Hairdressing Apprenticeship.
After successfully gaining a place, she has had the opportunity to develop on both a professional and personal level under the guidance of highly qualified and passionate stylists.
OPEN is currently on the look out for fresh talent to join our business – and hairdressing apprenticeship training is a great place to start.
If you’re considering applying for a place, Dani offers an honest and clear perspective on her time at OPEN – because we think it’s good for you to hear from someone who’s been there done, done that (and quite literally got the t-shirt!).
Dani, what was it about an OPEN apprenticeship that first attracted you to the role?
It was through a previous Saturday job at another salon that confirmed my interest in hairdressing. I heard about the apprenticeship via family connections – I knew that Ben and John had a lot of experience training and working in London salons. I felt that I could learn from their knowledge and experience.
Why OPEN and not another salon in Hertfordshire?
OPEN Hairdressing is a group of modern salons that recognise the importance of training apprentices to a high standard. And all staff in the company are friendly and welcoming.
Did you have any prior experience or interest in hairdressing or fashion prior to applying?
I came straight from school after my GCSE’s. I love art and felt that hairdressing was a way of expressing my artistic skills.
Can you give an overview about how the training scheme was structured, what you learnt, who you learnt with, etc.?
Training takes place every Monday at OPEN Hairdressing Hemel Hempstead where all the apprentices come from each salon to learn and develop together. We have training teachers who are London and Vidal Sassoon trained.
The weeks alternate between colour and cutting training. However, our training still continues throughout the week through observing and supporting the salon stylists.
What was the hardest part about the apprenticeship and how did you overcome it?
Coming from full-time education into a full-time work scenario meant a huge change in lifestyle and confidence for me. The roles involve salon maintenance and interacting with clients. But Ben and John have supported and encouraged the other apprentices and myself throughout the learning process.
What was your favourite part of the training scheme?
I still have a lot more to learn but I am now beginning to build up a returning client base. It’s the chance to show people I have faith in my work.
Has it affected you or influenced you in any way outside the salon environment?
I find myself being more confident when speaking to strangers!
How are you assessed?
I have to complete a reflection sheet after each training day to help me keep track of learning and my progress. This is signed by the training teacher where verbal feedback is also given.
What’s the next step for you?
I started at OPEN Hairdressing Berkhamsted as a Saturday assistant a year ago before my apprenticeship started in September 2018. I still have over a year’s training to go so let’s see what happens!
What should prospective apprenticeship applicants consider when they apply to OPEN?
This role is challenging and you have to stay one step ahead of what clients and stylists need. You need to proactive in the salon and not wait for others to direct you.
Every Monday we have to bring our own models (two to three a week) which can be very demanding. This is because it involves interacting with people you have never met before.
A bubbly and friendly personality is important as we a small group in each salon. We have to ensure each client’s experience is consistent, memorable and enjoyable.
To read more about our hairdressing apprenticeship vacancies, just click the here.