Charlie Brown, owner of Charlie Brown’s hairdressers in Stoke-on-Trent, was keen to give other hairdressing students the chance to gain experience in a salon after starting out as an apprentice herself. She was so impressed with one of her apprentices, Becky Percival, that she has put her forward in The Sentinel Business Awards in the Young Apprentice of the Year category sponsored by Stoke-on-Trent College.
Charlie says that Becky’s common sense and use of her initiative has set her apart from the other students.
She said: “Becky thinks on the spot. When I’m busy I might turn around to ask Becky for something and usually, she’s already done it.
“I’m always losing stuff and before I know it she is tapping me on the shoulder, returning it.”
17 year old Becky has progressed so far in her NVQ Level 2 in hairdressing that she has already gained her own clients and price list.
She started working at the salon in December 2011 and is planning on completing her NVQ Level 3 after her Level 2 assessments in March.
Charlie said: “Becky will have completed her whole Level 2 course in just over a year. In the salon she just gets on with things.
“Her jobs include cleaning up, making the salon look smart, making sure the clients have everything they need, and she is now one of our junior stylists.
“At the moment she is still in training but we get quite a lot of requests for her and everyone I have spoken to has been happy with the results.”
Becky has always wanted to work in hairdressing. She started out on a full-time hairdressing course at Stoke-on-Trent College but change to an apprenticeship because she was keen to gain experience and earn money while learning.
She now goes to college one day a week to study course theory.
She said: “I switched to an apprenticeship and was lucky enough to find a place at Charlie Browns.
“It’s much more hands-on. I get the experience of working in a salon with clients instead of practising on a doll.
“I really enjoy meeting the people who come in and having my own clients.
“It’s not just making tea and washing hair. It means as soon as I finish my NVQ Level 2 and qualify I can start building up that client list.”
Charlie added: “Becky is brilliant with the clients and she never has time off. She picks everything up straight away and she is also very creative.”