Andrew Collinge Achieve Prestigious Training Award

On Wednesday 15th August Andrew Collinge Hairdressing received the exciting news that they had achieved a prestigious Princess Royal Training Award.

The awards are highly sought after and awarded for commitment to training and the positive impact that staff development has on the business. Other recipients include John Lewis; HMRC; The Royal Airforce & RBS.

The Princess Royal Training Awards is an honour for UK employers that have created lasting impact by successfully linking their skills development needs to business performance.

Training incubator

Andrew Collinge applied for the award in early 2018, with their Graduate salon for newly trained hairdressers at the foundation of the application. Graduate salons allow Andrew Collinge apprentices to build their experience and confidence away from their own places of work.

This training incubator environment is highly effective and impact is clear, with average client bills and business revenue increasing as apprentices grow in confidence. The training programme offers clear succession opportunities when graduates are ready to return to their original salons as fully fledged stylists. Graduate salons encourage innovation and offer exciting opportunities to develop skills and confidence, such as participating at Pro Hair Live; styling models at the JMU fashion show and even showcasing the skills they have developed within Andrew Collinge masterclass events.

Standard of Excellence

48 UK businesses, from a wide range of sectors, achieved the Princess Royal Training Awards standard of excellence in training in 2018. The announcement follows the adjudication of the Princess Royal Training Awards Commission, composed of seven leading figures in the business and learning & development community and HRH The Princess Royal, who is the President of the City & Guilds Group.

Chris Jones, Group Chief Executive, said: “Congratulations to all 48 organisations who have achieved the Princess Royal Training Awards standard of excellence this year. Once again, it is evidence of the very real benefits that investing in staff development can bring to employers, large and small, private, public and not for profit. At a time of increasing economic uncertainty and reduced investment into workforce development it is great to see critical business issues being addressed through L&D investments. Through the Awards we highlight excellent examples of training that have already proved to be effective and we encourage others to build on their success.”

Andrew Collinge are looking forward to receiving this fabulous award at a ceremony to be held at St James Palace, London in October.

GMLPF & partners meet Matthew Hancock MP to discuss reforms

Last week, we were grateful to have the opportunity to raise our reform concerns with Minister for Skills, Matthew Hancock. James Glendenning, CEO at GMLPF, Brian Quinn of tpm, Andrew and Sarah Collinge, and Herbert Howe of Herbert of Liverpool met with the minister and Esther McVey MP on 3rd July.

During our session, the Minister listened to our outlines of:

  • the detrimental impact the reforms could have on employers and training providers
  • employers’ lack of understanding of reforms and their implications
  • activity undertaken by the North West Provider Network, including the facilitation of approximately 500 employer responses to the technical consultation, the vast majority of which express severe concerns and intentions to disengage with apprenticeships

Along with our partners at the meeting, GMLPF stressed the risk of proceeding without taking employer views into account, specifically requesting that the minister provide employers with choice.

In addition, we:

  • Suggested that a reliance on mandatory contributions is risky, given the history regarding contributions. The minister’s view was that SMEs recruiting 16-18 year olds would recoup the majority of the contribution via government payments
  • Pressed for more detail so learning providers can prepare effectively for transition and implementation. We highlighted that so far there has been little opportunity for them, as the “sales and delivery force” of Apprenticeships, to engage in dialogue with Government. We asked for providers to be involved in any further developments
  • Requested clarification on the expected roles of employers and training providers under new arrangements. We stressed that the lack of available detail around this adds to anxiety about the reforms

The minister acknowledged our concerns whilst reiterating that the reforms are necessary. He accepted that a fuller explanation of how and when payments would be triggered was essential, and that this would address concerns as to how employers and training providers could prepare themselves for navigating the system appropriately.

The minister recognised the large response to the technical consultation and confirmed his department were working through responses – noting that he would address concerns raised as “he genuinely wants the system to be as simple as possible and easy to access”. He finished by confirming that a Government announcement would be made soon, explaining how the programme will operate in practice. We look forward to hearing this announcement which hopefully will clarify many issues that remain nebulous.

Coming up next in GMLPF’s Apprenticeships Reform schedule:
  • First meeting of GMLPF’s Apprenticeships Reform Implementation Planning Group on 11th July
  • GMLPF and partners to meet with Liam Byrne MP in early September