High Street Hair is a hair and beauty salon based in Lees, Oldham. Megan Rafferty, salon owner, talks to us about starting out as an apprentice and supporting apprentices of her own.
What was your journey to owning your own salon?
I started my career as an apprentice aged 16, completing qualifications at Levels 2 and 3. I stayed at that salon until I was 21, then set up a mobile hairdressing business.
After a couple of years, I returned to a salon environment. I worked as a Senior Stylist for 2.5 years, and also held managerial roles.
I established High St Hair in May 2016. I returned to working mobile while renovating the salon to retain clients. At first this was just a hair salon, but in 2017 we expanded across two floors and I now offer hair, beauty treatments, nails and other services.
What has been your experience of working with an apprentice?
It is so rewarding to help an apprentice develop confidence, courage and passion in their work – especially when clients can see how they have developed over the apprenticeship.
Why did you choose to work with Oldham College – and how is your working relationship?
My relationship with Oldham College is brilliant, I never want it to stop.
Having heard good things about Oldham College, I approached them to work together around 7 years ago.
We built a good relationship straight away, and I have always received a lot of advice, support, help and reassurance. Oldham College understands me as a stylist, business owner and person.
As well as taking on apprentices, I have visited the College to give talks to students, including a session about my career journey from apprentice to salon owner. It’s inspiring to show students the bigger picture and what they can achieve.
What advice would you give to businesses taking on apprentices?
I would advise any employer to have patience, give your apprentices time, and be consistent across the apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships are all about teamwork, so work on building a good relationship with your apprentice.