Apprenticeships work, both as a viable alternative to Sixth Form or College but also for University Degrees and Continuing Professional Development for staff, as they offer nationally recognised qualifications alongside real industry experience – something which can’t be taught in a classroom.

The theme for this years’ National Apprenticeship Week is ‘Fire it Up’ and ‘Blaze a Trial’ and award winning salon owners Dean Vinning and Dean Robertson from Sixth Sense Salon in Sutton Coldfield treated our Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy learners from Birmingham to a motivational careers talk to inspire them to fire up their futures in the fast paced world of hair and beauty.

Dean V was working as a Saturday boy in a salon when he left school without any qualifications, it was his immeasurable passion for the industry that saw him work his way up to the award winning hairdresser and salon owner that he is today. After 10 years working on the shop floor he became a trainer / assessor before returning to the salon he started in but this time as a manager. Dean enjoyed managing a busy salon but he had always wanted to own his own and by the time hit 30 he turned that dream into a reality with his business partner, Dean Robertson.

Dean R is the Business Director for Sixth Sense and responsible for their inimitable brand and manages all the administration, award submissions, creative marketing and more. Their partnership has created a formidable brand reputation with clients travelling from near and far for their 5 star celebrity service as standard.

It’s not just their clients that are treated to 5 star service, their staff and future superstars (what they like to call our apprentices) are too. The Deans are passionate about education, recognition and reward to inspire and motivate their team to be the best they can be. Their staff incentives and employee perks are second to none with regular training days, the latest was a full training day with the British Hairdressing Award, Colourist of the Year, Robert Eaton. Sixth Sense are so invested in education and apprenticeships that they won the regional National Apprenticeship Award 2017 for Small Employer of the Year in the West Midlands category and were the only salon in the country to be shortlisted for the National finals.

During the presentation both Deans highlighted the importance of making the most of every opportunity and offered insight and advice on best practice and going over and above expectations as well interview tips and the importance of creating a portfolio of work.

Speaking about their investment in apprentices the Deans said:

Our Future Superstars are the back bone of our business and every single one of them is classed as a full team member and receives all the benefits that every other employee receives. Upon starting within our business, each Future Superstar is given an in-salon mentor, someone who will take them through their education programme. We set a 12-month training matrix which takes them through their modules but also gives them hands-on experience within the salon working with our customers every day. We also regularly take our future superstars to a lot of external, events and awards so we can inspire them and make them feel valued within our company. These guys are our future, they are the next generation of our brand and we need to ensure that they fully supported, loved and have to hunger to be very best they can be.

If you want to blaze a trail for your own career in head over to for our full range of apprenticeships and levels available across the Midlands.

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