This Week's News 15.06.18

Getting It Right: The Top Three Misunderstandings About Apprenticeships

There are a lot of rules and regulations in the ESFA apprenticeship guidelines! When we spot an irregularity at a salon, they are usually misunderstandings in three areas. We are listing them here to help you navigate the requirements of all businesses with apprentices funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

1. Employment Contracts

All apprentices must have an Employment Contract which specifies that they are employed as a Hairdressing Apprentice. The contract should also specify their weekly working hours, pay and terms and conditions of employment.

2. Training Requirements

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure all apprentices receive a minimum of 20% of their working hours on training. Training must take place within their working hours but excludes maths and English and assessments. For example, 8 hours per week is to be dedicated to training for apprentices working 40 hours per week as per their contracts. This is called "Off-the-Job Training" and is a mandate of the ESFA. Apprentices will be unable to take their End Point Assessment without proof that the required off-the-job training hours have been completed.

We will be issuing every apprentice with an "Off-the-job Training Record" in July. The apprentice will be required to fill this out on a weekly basis for their Trainer/Assessor to check on their monthly visit. Please help us by checking that your apprentices fill this record out regularly.

If you are unsure, we can signpost you to information about what constitutes off-the-Job training and how it should be recorded.

3. Wages

Apprentices must be paid for their contracted hours at the appropriate minimum wage and this includes hours spent on training. Please note that apprentices under the age of 18 must not exceed 40 hours per week (including their training time). 

Please contact the office if you need any advice regarding these issues. We are happy to help!

Your Top Tips for Recruiting Apprentices - Kate Trippick

At the recent Partner Salon Meeting, I discussed the current trends in apprentice recruitment - some of which are a bit challenging! We all agreed that current efforts have been met with unreliable behaviour from young candidates. So I asked, "What works for you and how did you get your last apprentice?"

Your responses included:

  • Candidate was known already from friends, relatives, clients
  • Transferred from another apprenticeship programme
  • Transitioned from "Saturday Girl" to apprentice
  • Candidate walked in from "Help Wanted" sign in the window

These four answers imply that we keep it in the family by pulling from our in-house resources: employees, friends, family, clients, other salons! But you're not stopping there! In addition to the Recruit an Apprentice applications from me, salons have been trying to attract apprentices themselves. Here's how:

  • "Help Wanted" sign: The most successful tactic was the most simple: place a Help Wanted sign in your shop window! If you don't have one, click here for the ITS version which can be edited.
  • Social Media presence: Posting apprenticeship vacancies on Instagram (for young people) and Facebook (for their parents) is "location-specific" which creates a specified target audience. Don't forget to "like" and "share" posts from our salon network and the ITS social media pages.
  • Employee Referrals: Sometimes your own employees are the best source for new recruits! One salon offers an employee incentive of a £50 reward for referring an apprentice who successfully completes the three-month trial. (I can almost hear you thinking about this one!)
  • Building Relationships with Schools: We all agreed that this was hit or miss! It's hard to make contact with the schools' Careers Departments, as they are usually staffed by part-time employees or full-time teachers. Once we do make contact, we find that schools are not very enthusiastic about apprenticeships and even less enthusiastic about hairdressing as a career. Additionally, work experience has been scrapped for Senior School students in Surrey due to the inconvenience of Health and Safety checks on business. On the upside, several of you keep in touch with your local schools and participate in Careers Evenings.

With all these strategies in place, we are still finding it difficult to fill our apprenticeship vacancies. Next week, I will address some of our marketing strategies designed to engage schools and our partner salons. In the meantime, please share with me the success stories you have had with your recruiting tactics! I'd love to pass them on!

Appeal for Photos

We are refreshing the photos on the ITS website and would like any great pics of your apprentices in action! Please send images to Kate (ten/dtl-sti//etak) noting who the people are in the photos. Many thanks for all of you who have submitted photos already! Keep them coming, please!

Save the date: helping hairdressers day 29 June

The Hairdressers' Charity 'Helping Hairdressers' Day' is back for its fifth year! You can join in and fundraise for fellow hairdressers in need. Find out more and order your fundraising pack here.

NHF business awards 2018 open for entries

Open to non-members! With the success of last year's Business Awards, we're doing it all again! Find out more on the categories to enter your hair/beauty salon or barbershop here. The awards evening will be held on Sunday 4 November at The Hilton Deansgate, Manchester to celebrate the success of the best businesses in the industry! Enter the NHF Business Awards here.

NHF photographic stylist of the year 2018 open for entries

Open to non-members! Enter by submitting a single image or collection which are suitable for the front cover of a magazine. Download the brochure or read more here.

Apprenticeship funding

On 17 May, government published a new apprenticeships funding policy, to come into effect on 1 August 2018. It updates the policy that has been in place since May 2017. The policy explains how government will fund apprenticeship training in England from August 2018 and will apply to all employers, both those paying the levy and those who do not.

Funding bands

Following our consideration of the current funding band structure, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has decided to move to a new 30 band structure for new starts from August 2018. This new structure will include more bands, with fewer levels between bands. The upper limit of the highest funding band will remain at £27,000. These changes will not affect the funding bands for any apprentices who start before 1 August 2018. The ESFA is working with the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) to ensure that any new standards that are approved for delivery are allocated to one of the 15 current funding bands, which will apply until August, and to one of the new 30 funding bands, to take effect from August. For more information, read the new apprenticeships funding policy paper.

Dress codes guidance

New guidance has been published on GOV.UK for employers who set dress codes, for employees and job applicants who may have to abide by them. This guidance was written following recommendation from the Parliamentary Women and Equalities Select Committee and the Petitions Committee. The guidance sets out how the law might apply in cases of sex discrimination where an employer may require, for example, a female member of staff to wear high heels, make-up or hair at particular length or style.

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