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Head for heights.

FOCUS ON.. hairdressing

EacH week we take a look at sectors that are currently recruiting to let you know where to head for jobs.

We scour the UK to bring you the lowdown on who is hiring and where and let you know what it's really like to work in the industry

WHILE other businesses are struggling in today's tough economy, hairdressing is booming as we found at least 14,000 jobs up for grabs as part of our Get Britain Working campaign.

We found 2,259 jobs online, and industry leaders insist there are at least another 11,741 in the UK's 34,000 salons and 3,000 barbers' shops.

Nothing seems to be stopping hairdressers bucking the recessionary trend with an annual industry turnover of pounds 5.25billion, 245,000 employees and 37.8million customers.

"It's a career where you are constantly learning and have the opportunity to train, a career that enables you to travel the world and it can also be very lucrative, with top hairdressers earning more than pounds 100k a year," says Vincent Mercier of L'Oreal Professionnel Products, which is also at the forefront of training.

"Hairdressing constantly tops the list of high satisfaction jobs and, if you are really good at it, you'll almost always be in work."

And it's a particularly good career right now, say experts.

"I'd urge anyone who is creative and personable to have a go," says former British Hairdresser of the Year and C4 celebrity Andrew Barton.

"Hairdressing is ever evolving as a part of the fashion and beauty industry. It means stylists are constantly training to stay on top of trends.

"British hairdressing is known as the best in the world for its technical skills and creativity and its business success." The job itself can be as varied as you want it to be, with full- and parttime jobs available.

"It offers a variety of opportunities, including management, training roles, photographic, business ownership or fashion and specialist fields," adds Andrew.

WHERE ARE THE JOBS?

At www.direct.gov.uk/jobseekers we found 1,232 jobs ranging from a trainee stylist in Guildford (from pounds 2.50 an hour) and a barber in Wilmslow (pounds 6) to hair stylists around the country.

www.fish4jobs.co.uk has 162 jobs including a salon manager in Clitheroe, Lancashire (from pounds 18,000) to a manager in Birmingham (pounds 31,551).

At www.reed.co.uk we spotted 425 jobs, including a hair and beauty lecturer in the Midlands (from pounds 15).

Also try www.styletech recruitment.co.uk where there are 245 jobs from Cornwall to Aberdeen and www.hairandbeautyjobs.com - 195 jobs include stylist jobs for the chain Headmasters in their London branches (negotiable) or you could land yourself a job on Paradise Island in the Bahamas earning up to pounds 2,000 a month, tax free.

Local independent salons rarely advertise vacancies online. They rely on jobseekers coming to them or spotting adverts in the salon window or in local press. Industry leaders say there are 1,000s of vacancies to be filled so check out those in your area now.

TRAINING

You can train as a hairdresser either full-time or part-time at a college, or by working as a trainee, learning on the job and attending college on day-release.

Whichever option you choose, you can complete NVQs in Hairdressing and Barbering.

L'Oral Professionnel is one of several companies that run training courses in partnership with further education colleges and universities.

They have recently set up the world's first Foundation Degree Course for hairdressers in partnership with the University of Greenwich.

A great source of information on all training is The Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority (HABIA).

You can also get into the industry through apprenticeship schemes, visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk You can also develop your career by completing higher level qualifications, including: BTEC HNC/HND and foundation degrees in hairdressing.

The Freelance Hair and Beauty Federation (FHBF) offers training on planning, setting up and managing a hairdressing business, as well as other training. See the FHBF website (right).

WORKER'S VIEW

VICTORIA Phillips loves her job working for celebrity colourist Jo Hansford in her Mayfair salon.

"I get to meet and spend time with all sorts of people. There aren't many jobs where you can really make people feel good about themselves - nothing beats seeing the look of happiness on someone's face when their hair is finished," says the 25-year-old.

Despite her obvious passion, Victoria, now a senior colourist, hasn't always been a hairdresser. Straight after school, she headed into a job in an accounts department at a law firm.

"I thought that's what i was good at and that it would be a good career move," says Victoria, from Essex.

"But just a few weeks into it, i realised i couldn't stand being stuck in an office all day."

She sat it out for a few months as she tried to think about what she would really enjoy.

"My dad's cousin was a hairdresser and out of nowhere it seemed to be something that i really wanted to do."

After preparing a cV and answering job adverts, Victoria began going for interviews, including one at Jo Hansford. She was delighted to be taken on as an apprentice.

"I spent one day a week at college and the rest learning the trade from colleagues at work. the training was very formal and of course you're always closely supervised when working on people's hair."

Not only does she get to work alongside Jo, whose clients include Liz Hurley and the Duchess of cornwall, but Victoria also gets to travel to india a couple of times a year.

She says: "Jo has a training foundation out there and i get to teach. I never imagined that being a hairdresser would open that door for me."

CONTACTS

The Hairdressing and Beauty industry authority www.habia.org L'oral Professionnel www.lorealprofessionnel.co.uk

Freelance Hair and Beauty Federation www.fhbf.org.uk

Jo Hansford Salon www.johansford.com

Andrew Barton www.andrewbarton.tv

CAPTION(S):

PASSION Victoria Phillips found her perfect job
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 28, 2011
Words:1021
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