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College hair stylists are a cut above

Left to right: students  Amber Glassock, Katie Thompson, Demi-Leigh Watkins, Alison Lathwell and Imogen Read, with Director of Curriculum Dorne Macken, Trainer Assessor for Hairdressing Shavaun Enright, Wella Accounts Manager for the Francesco Group Alison Black, Head of Hair, Beauty & Hospitality Debbie Houghton and, seated, college chief executive Dr Julie Mills

Left to right: students Amber Glassock, Katie Thompson, Demi-Leigh Watkins, Alison Lathwell and Imogen Read, with Director of Curriculum Dorne Macken, Trainer Assessor for Hairdressing Shavaun Enright, Wella Accounts Manager for the Francesco Group Alison Black, Head of Hair, Beauty & Hospitality Debbie Houghton and, seated, college chief executive Dr Julie Mills

  • by Charlie Ray
 

MILTON Keynes has a great new place to get the perfect haircut in the shape of newly rejuvenated salon, The Graduate.

Based at MK College’s Bletchley campus, their reasonable prices, extensive range of services and high-end products has meant a steep climb in visits and bookings.

This salon however, is not your ordinary high street hairdressers.

In its clean, light and professional environment, The Graduate is showcasing the very best young hair stylists in the city.

Previously, MK College had used the salon to train all their Hairdressing, Beauty and Hospitality students, but now it has a separate identity and is a business in its own right.

Using only experienced staff, apprentices and the best Level 3 students, The Graduate can guarantee a fantastic hairdressing experience. But what is it that ensures the college’s Level 3 hair stylists can provide such a professional service?

One of the major turning points for the course is the partnership with Francesco Group. The company has a fantastic package in place to work alongside Further Education Colleges to give thorough, extensive and efficient training.

They have a creative team to help students with new ideas and provide them with online links, tutorials, demonstrations and specifications. Just as importantly, Francesco Group also visited Milton Keynes College in order to retrain staff and make equipment, techniques and practices all industry standard.

One member of staff has even completed her colouring masters degree with the prestigious London Wella Studio.

Sarah Thompson, who qualified this October, can now pass on the skills she has acquired to other staff, as well as the students.

To top it all off, as a result of an agreement between the two organisations, the students get the chance to go down to the studio themselves and observe the advanced techniques and practices used. Level 3 student Matt Kemp is thrilled to have all this specialist experience to hand.

“The partnership with Francesco Group is inspiring for any student” he said.

“It is the new generation of training. Being a part of the Wella Salon of Excellence has enabled us to provide a specialist service for all of our clients.”

Julie Walters is a lead teacher on the college’s Hairdressing, Beauty and Hospitality course and is a personal tutor to the full time Level 3 students. She explains what it means to have The Graduate up and running as a real business.

“Our ultimate goal is of course, making the learner as employable as possible,” she said.

“Once we feel we have got them to that stage, we are comfortable with them working for The Graduate.

“With the training they get here, combined with what they are taught from Francesco Group and Wella, we are more than confident they can provide a fantastic service with the professionalism you’d find on any high street salon.

“It’s so inspiring to see them progress so quickly, I can honestly say it’s one of the more special times of my career.”

Head of the course, Debbie Houghton, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the students and will give them genuine experience of salon life. They will have to learn what it is like to work in a real business with a professional structure dealing with real clients and real finances. The partnership with Francesco Group will bring serious benefits to the college as well as the students. Obviously, paying customers generate revenue but beyond that, it is bound to make Milton Keynes College an even more desirable place for young people looking for a hairdressing course, so we expect applications to rise significantly.”

Next week The Graduate team is offering a free consultation on Wednesday, November 14 between 10:30am and 1pm with their level 3 students over at University Centre Milton Keynes – based at 200, Silbury Boulevard – and will be providing a free consultation in the Wella ‘System Professional’ Alchemy programme.

The Graduate will be also providing a colour bar consultation to discuss suitable products and choice of colours to suit your hair and skin tone.

For your chance to grab some offers and free advice make sure to attend the consultation day. Until then you can contact The Graduate by calling 01908 684102 or by popping down to the salon at Milton Keynes College Bletchley Campus on Sherwood Drive, Bletchley.

 

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