Belfast Telegraph

Could you cut it with the best in hair salon?

By Margaret Canning

An east Belfast hair salon which crimps and curls models' hair for a major London fashion college has announced it would like to take on two apprentices.

The announcement from Peter Maud Hair Peace comes after owner Peter Casey noticed our campaign to create 100 apprenticeships in 100 days.

Mr Casey said: "I would very much support the Belfast Telegraph's campaign, and it certainly has caught my attention."

Hairdressing lends itself well to the apprenticeship approach of learning on the job and in college, the salon boss said.

"It's very important to give people a good foundation and I think the experience you get of going to college, learning getting the practical side of the salon is the perfect marriage."

He said apprentices are also given the opportunity to take part in the company's fashion photography side - and its sideline in hair styling at fashion shows at Central St Martin's College of Art and Design in London.

The salon is on L'Oreal's Portfolio of Artistic Hairdressers.

Mr Casey said that of the salon's 11 staff, six had come through the apprenticeship route including the salon manager.

There is training on the job to level NVQ level two or three in hairdressing, a day off to attend college and additional training from a member of the staff in the salon.

The salon currently has two apprentices who will soon finish their NVQ level three.

But he said hairdressing was hard work. "You have to have a passion for it. You have to stay in touch with fashion and fashion trends.

"Sometimes I think the perception is the relaxed appearance of a hairdresser chatting to clients with a bit of music in the background - but there's a huge amount of work involved to be able to do that."

Mr Casey has been in the business for 30 years. "I studied at the Tower Street branch of the Belfast Institute and studied for an old City and Guilds qualification in the mid-1970s. I then became artistic director for a chain of 15 salons in Sydney before coming home to take my mother's business, which was called Maud's, to the next level."