Bushey apprentice Sarah shows she's a cut above
A single mum from Bushey has shown she's got what it takes to cut it in the UK's billion pound a year hair and beauty industry by receiving a nomination for the National Apprentice of the Year Awards and achieving her dream career of becoming a hair stylist.
Having overcome significant personal adversity on her quest to gain her hairdressing qualifications, twenty-four year-old Sarah Lawrence, has just graduated from the London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy (LHAA) in Borehamwood and in doing so, has earned herself a nomination for the prestigious annual Awards, thanks to her dedication and hard work to complete her two-year apprenticeship.
Employed as a graduate stylist at Salon41, located on the High Street in Bushey, Sarah is now waiting to see if she has made the final shortlist for the Awards, which will be selected during the summer from thousands of apprentices representing a myriad of sectors.
On hearing the news that she was being nominated by LHAA, Sarah said: "This nomination really means a lot to me as I had a very troubled childhood and was made homeless when I was a teenager. I'd always fancied the idea of being a hairdresser but it was just a pipe dream until I started my apprenticeship when I was 22. Since then, I've managed to develop new skills and begin a new career that I love, which will also enable me to support my young son. I have received great support from the team at LHAA and the staff at Salon41 so I'm hoping this is the start of new beginnings."
Director of Salon41, Nikki Chatterpaul, commented: "Sarah is a credit to our business and a valued member of our team. She's always smiling and so friendly to all our customers. Sarah works extremely well under pressure and has improved her skills and knowledge dramatically since she started with us. We are very proud of her and wish her every success."
Jackie Lee, Academy Manager at LHAA in Borehamwood, which manages apprenticeships for more than 350 salons across the London, Hertfordshire and Essex, added: "Sarah has dedicated herself to succeeding as a hair stylist and has overcome some enormous personal challenges to complete her apprenticeship. All of us at LHAA are incredibly proud of her achievement and she has even mentored some of our new apprentices. Sarah is a very deserving nominee for the National Apprentice Awards and we are keeping our fingers crossed that she makes the final shortlist."
Statistics from the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority (Habia) show that there are over 35,000 hair salons in the UK, employing over 200,000 people with 25% of those working in salons in London and the South East. To head off a looming skills shortage in the industry, LHAA recently launched a recruitment campaign to attract more apprentices into hairdressing and barbering.