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Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employers 2022

Congratulations to Andrew Collinge salons raking 13th in the Top 50 SME Apprentice Employers and the highest placed hairdressing employer in the UK #TopAppsEmployers

Collinge Hairdressing have invested in hairdressing training for over 80 years, with apprenticeships the main pathway to employment at Andrew Collinge. Today 90% of Andrew Collinge hairdressers started with the company as an apprentice.

Photographed are the current team of Andrew Collinge Graduate Stylists who having successfully completed their Hair Professional qualification are now working towards the Advanced and Creative Standard.

If you are an employer with more than 10 employees and a minimum of 3 apprentices, look out for @apprenticeships Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employers 2023.


Intersalon Winners 2022

Our annual Intersalon competition was held at The Liner Hotel in Liverpool this month and we are so proud of all our students and their achievements. There was a fantastic quality of hairdressing presented by the apprentices, well done to all apprentices that entered.

Congratulations go to Anna Gordon from Andrew Collinge Heswall, winner of the 1st-year competition and and Charlotte Singleton from Q’Dos Hair Design, winner of the 2nd Year competition.

1st Year competition

1st: Anna Gordon – Andrew Collinge Heswall
2nd: Holly Lascelles-Higgins – Ziba Salon
3rd: Catherine Newton – L.A. Hair
2nd Year competition

1st: Charlotte Singleton – Q’Dos Hair Design
2nd: Milly Murphy – Sass Hair & Beauty
3rd: Abigail Crockett – Gallagher & Washington


Apprentice of Year 2020 and 2021

During the Intersalon competition we were delighted to recognise the outstanding achievement of apprentices that achieved the highest grades in their End-Point Assessment.

Congratulations to Rosie Hilton Hair Professional Apprentice of the Year 2020 and Mia Favager Hair Professional Apprentice of the Year 2021


Minimum Wage Increases 2022

From 1 April 2022 the National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage and Apprentice rates are increasing. The hourly rate for the National Minimum Wage depends on your employee’s age and whether they are an apprentice. The changes are:

  • Apprentice Rate: nncreases to £4.81 and applies in the first year of the employee's apprenticeship or if they are under 19,
  • The National Living Wage, for age 23 and over: increases to £9.50,
  • Age 21-22: increases to £9.18,
  • Age 18-20; increases to £6.83,
  • Age 16-18: increased to £4.81.

As an employer of apprentices it is important to remember the following:

  • You cannot pay the Apprentice Rate before an employee starts their apprenticeship. Please check your apprentice's Apprenticeship Agreement and Commitment Statement to see their apprenticeship start date,
  • You must pay the National Living Wage or National Minimum wage rate to any apprentice that is 19 years old or older if they have been on their apprenticeship for 12 months or more. This includes both apprentices that are 19 or older when starting their apprenticeship, or turn 19 during their apprenticeship,
  • You must pay your employee the National Living Wage or National Minimum wage as soon as they complete their apprenticeship. This includes the time between completing an apprenticeship and starting a new apprenticeship, even if this is only a few days.

This is not extensive list of obligations, and it is important that you keep up-to-date with information provided by, or seek professional advise from an employment law service or payroll provider.

The Government provides a tool to check that as an employer you are paying your employees over the minimum rates. Visit

Term Dates for 2023 and 2024 added

Please find the term dates for 2023 and 2024 added to add to your calendar. Term Dates


Safeguarding Team Phone Number

Andrew Collinge Training want to support our employer salons in keeping apprentices safe. If you see or hear something that does not feel right, and may indicate your apprentice could be ‘at risk of harm’. Please contact a member of our Safeguarding Team at your earliest opportunity.

To get in touch, contact 0151 647 4842 and ask to speak to any of the team or leave a message with your contact details and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Alison Gibson – Safeguarding Lead
Faye Whitcher – Safeguarding Officer
Nikki McGee – Safeguarding Officer


The road to a quality apprenticeship
National Minimum Wage Increases 1 April 2021

As an employer you need to be aware that Apprenticeship rate, National Living and Minimum Wage rates has increased from 1 April 2021. The hourly rate for the National Minimum Wage depends on your employee’s age and whether they are an apprentice. The changes are:

  • Apprentice Rate: Increases from £4.15 to £4.30 and applies in the first year of your apprenticeship or if you’re under 19,
  • The National Living Wage: Increase by 2.2% from £8.72 to £8.91 and is extended to 23- and 24-year-olds for the first time.
  • Age 21-22: Increases from £8.20 to £8.36,
  • Age 18-20; Increases from £6.45 to £6.56,
  • Age16-18: Increases from £4.55 to £4.62.

Businesses must be ready for the change. The government is asking employers to take simple steps quickly to meet legal responsibilities and avoid falling foul of the law:

  • Find out which staff are eligible for the new rate,
  • Update the company payroll, and
  • Communicate the changes to staff as soon as possible.

The new rates were recommended by the Low Pay Commission, an independent body made up of Commissioners from business, worker and academic backgrounds, which advises and works with the government on the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage.

People underpin every successful business, and it is right they are treated fairly at work, receive a decent wage and have the opportunity to develop a career. More than 2 million people across the UK receive the National Living and Minimum Wage.

Measured increases support Britain’s workforce, while recognising the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on business. It is a key part of the government’s commitment to level up the UK and provide equal opportunities for all as part of its plan to Build Back Fairer.

You can find out more by visiting

Clients return to the Training Salon 12th April

From 12th April Apprentices and Clients return to the training salon. We have full columns of appointments for apprentices and lots of opportunities for assessments. It is of great importance that not only do apprentices restart their practical hairdressing but they also can be assessed by our tutors for them to make progress in their course and move closer to being ready for their EPA. Letters have been sent to employers and apprentices with more information.

Return to training from 8 March
On-site training to resume from 8 March

From 8 March apprentices will return to the Bold Street Training Centre.

Tutors have been in touch with apprentices to provide them with the dates and times they should attend, plus Covid-19 safety requirements.

Activities from 8th March will include:

  • Sitting evolve hairdressing online tests to validate apprentices learning in virtual classrooms.
  • Practical workshops using headblocks, providing formative practical skill development, so we can focus on summative assessments on clients when the training salon opens.
  • Additional catch-up ‘bootcamps’ for apprentices who are taking Hair Professional End Point Assessments this year.
Incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice before 31 March 2021
Apply for up to £2000 via the Apprenticeship Service

The government is paying employers up to £2000 for new apprentices they employ between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2020. See for more details.

Alerting all partner/employers – please note you must have registered your business and your apprentice via the Apprenticeship service and you must then apply for the new government incentive payment for your new start apprentice. Please apply using the links in your Apprenticeship Service account, the first part of this payment will be made by, straight into your account during January 2021 and does not come via Andrew Collinge Training.

Please contact Lisa or Jan, our Employer Relationship Officers, if you need assistance.

YouTube Instructions Video

Please see the video on YouTube.

Coronovirus Update re lockdown commencing 5 November
Guidelines for apprentices' training during lockdown


To All Our Partner Employers

In light of the new government guidance and lockdown restrictions for hairdressing salons, your apprentices hairdressing training will move to 100% virtual delivery from Thursday 5th November with the following notable exceptions:

1. We will be asking particular groups of apprentices to attend on-site tests within our Liverpool Training centre, these will be of 2-3 hour duration and all apprentices are being contacted to confirm attendance to their scheduled sessions during this week.

2. We will be requesting attendance on-site for any apprentices due to complete who still need to prepare and plan for their End Point Assessments. We are expecting confirmation from City & Guilds soon to establish whether the following EPA dates can go ahead on Friday 13th November and Thursday 4th December.

Please be assured we will maintain our stringent COVID-19 Secure training site for any apprentices attending, to ensure your apprentice/s can return to your workplace full-time as soon as restrictions are lifted.

For the majority of apprentices, outside of test sessions, delivery of essential knowledge and understanding in addition to virtual practical demonstrations (where appropriate) will continue on their scheduled training day. We would ask you to encourage them to attend and actively participate. We know progress can be made and this style of learning is proving effective.

For those employers who have Level 3 apprentices who were expected to commence training on-site shortly, we will be delivering sessions from Tuesday 17th November up to Wednesday 25th November within virtual classrooms.

All apprentices will be notified separately of these changes and our Training term will end as expected week ending Friday 27th November with the first groups of apprentices returning on their usual training day either on-site or virtual, week commencing Monday 4th January 2021.

We hope you find this update useful and please do not hesitate to contact Lisa 07587 779 463 or Jan on 07760 749 633 if you have any further queries.


The Andrew Collinge Training Team

A Thank You to Partner Salons

Andrew Collinge Training are very much aware how challenging these times are for ourselves, our partner/employers and their apprentices. We want to say a big THANKYOU to you all, for the commitment and consideration you have shown to your apprentices and that you continue to show. We are all adapting to an ever-changing business model, to ensure the safety and protection of our staff, clients and apprentices. The Andrew Collinge Training Team fully appreciates your support, which is enabling us to complete existing apprentices training and start new apprentices on their journey to become Hair Professionals or Advanced and Creative Hair Professionals.

Covid-19 Safety, Updates & Information
Work and Covid-19

For the latest information, advice and guidance on protecting yourself, your staff and your clients during coronavirus, click here.

For a full list of helpful documents on a variety of topics, please click here.

Changes in Apprenticeship Programme Delivery

Our response to the New Normal

Our goal is to provide the best possible training for apprentices so that they enter the hairdressing industry with experience, confidence and valuable skills.

The importance of this has been highlighted in the face of so much change within hairdressing and the nation as a whole. In response to these evolving standards, procedures and safety measures, we at Andrew Collinge Training have made some important modifications to the way we deliver our apprenticeship programmes.

This agility in delivery is not only reshaping the way we teach, it is also having a measurable and positive impact on apprentices.

How have Apprentices Responded to the Changes?

During lockdown 1st Year apprentices were instructed using only digital methods for colouring and cutting theory. Upon returning from lockdown, we saw a 6% increase in the colour and cut exam First Time Pass Rate as compared with last year’s results.

*This number includes 5 apprentices who could not return due to shielding

The New Classroom Structure

Modified Classroom Schedule

  • 1 week onsite with longer days of practical work—keeping sure safety measures are followed
  • 1 week from home with virtual theory and functional Maths and English through virtual classrooms

In-Depth Virtual Learning

  • Attendance and Registration for the day (via Zoom)
  • Functional Maths and English virtual classrooms
  • Hair Professional and/or wider curriculum theory and practical demos through virtual classrooms
  • End of Day discussion to go over what the apprentice has learned (via Zoom)

Digital Tools for a Digital Age

  • EDMODO for digital lessons, reviews, useful information and interaction with tutors and peers
  • Zoom for virtual video demos, lessons and reviews
  • Popular events, such as Intersalon, are being held digitally

Extra Digital Support for Those Who Need it

For apprentices who require extra support, we will call for a 30 minute one to one guidance call regarding their progress for both theory and practical.

How Partner Salons Can Help

Your support is invaluable and there are lots of ways you can help us progress and guide your apprentice to success.

    • Ensuring they understand their Virtual Learning day is as important as their on-site day – missing it will mean they fall behind and will have lost out on practical demonstrations as well as knowledge activities to embed essential skills and behaviours.
    • Ensure they abide by COVID safety rules and procedures and keep themselves and their colleagues safe both in your workplace and on the days they are on-site in Andrew Collinge Training.
    • Let us know if your salon workplace including your apprentice has to self-isolate, it could be possible they are still able to complete virtual learning during this time and progression can continue.
    • Keep an eye on emails, you will have realised we are sending important items to you for electronic signatures and it is really helpful when these are returned timely.
    • Know our Employer Relationship Officers are here to help you and can be contacted if you have any queries or concerns.
    • Don’t forget – you can ask your apprentice to log-in to their Onefile e-portfolio at any time via their mobile phone App, so you can see where they are up to, what they have and still need to achieve. We can also provide you with your own log-in if you request it.
    • Carry on with your in-salon training, we know this is now more difficult to arrange, but it is invaluable to the apprentice and will help you to create a financially effective staff member much more quickly.