Posted on 30th November 2018

Life as an Academy Salons Apprentice

There’s far more to Academy Salons than our award-winning salons. Through our Academy Education programme, we help aspiring beauticians and stylists attain the qualifications they need to become a professional.

Directed by our very own John Baxter Hill, our courses combine theory and practical training, and can be completed in as little as 34 weeks. Apprentices work full-time in our salons throughout their training, with our expert stylists and course leaders always on-hand to provide the necessary support.

Talia Smith, a stylist at our Hersham Salon, has already attained her NVQ Level 2 through the Academy Education programme. Here’s what she had to say about her experience.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in the hair and beauty industry

I decided to get into the hair and beauty industry because there have always been lots of hairdressers in the family, and I always enjoyed listening to them talk about their careers in the trade.

What attracted you to the Academy Education programme? How did you first find out about it?

I heard about Academy Salons Education through word of mouth and distinctly remember hearing you “earn while you learn”, so it sounded like the perfect fit for me.

What did you enjoy most about the Academy Education programme?

I enjoyed the amount of practical time you get with clients and on training heads. Obviously you learn theory as well, and they have some great individual courses with senior stylists from some of the other salons. And then there’s the boss man himself with his education courses!

How did Academy Salons support you throughout the programme?

Academy Salons offers so much support whilst you’re training and working for them. The trainers are amazing; they always make sure you’re on track with your NVQ and not falling behind. They always push you, so you achieve more then you’d expect, but they don’t set you up to fail. I was doing my first one-length haircut by week three!

What is your current role with Academy Salons? What does it involve?

I am currently a graduate with Academy Salons in our Hersham Salon. I completed my NVQ Level 2 with Academy two months ago, and I’m now studying for my NVQ Level 3. I go to training one day a week, and for the other four days I run my own column with clients. I will be a graduate for the next few months, building my confidence and experience, and then I need to make sure I hit my target for three consecutive months to move up to be a creative designer in the salon.

How do you see your career progressing with the company?

I want to progress my hair up skills and hopefully join the creative team at Academy Salons so I can be a part of some of the amazing shows they do.

Why do you love working for Academy Salons?

I love working for Academy Salons because there are so many opportunities within the company. They do shows around the country and attend lots of other hairdressing events, which everyone is invited to. I’m really proud to be a part of Academy Salons and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

What would you say to anyone considering enrolling on the Academy Education programme?

There really is no better way to learn than to actually be in that environment, start from the bottom and work your way up. Anything is possible with hard work and Academy Salons!

Start Your Career with Academy Salons

Dreaming of a career in hair and beauty? Academy Salons can help make your dreams come true, so contact our training team today on 01932 252 464, or drop us an email at

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