Edinburgh social enterprise hair salon opens first of its kind hairdressing school

An Edinburgh hairdresser has launched a new training programme, aiming to help school-leavers start their own business.
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Brave, Strong, Beautiful is offering school leavers the chance to get a head start in the business.

Kerry Anderson, founder of the city centre salon branch has launched a new, unique 12-week training programme for young people interested in the hair and beauty industry.

Salon owner Kerry Anderson teaching new pupil.Salon owner Kerry Anderson teaching new pupil.
Salon owner Kerry Anderson teaching new pupil.
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The first course begins this month with students receiving two days’ training each week – the only programme of its kind to offer school leavers the opportunity to learn in a working salon environment, rather than taking the college route.

In addition to giving the trainees an invaluable insight into the industry, the course offers additional support in customer service, confidence-building and employability skills.

“It’s been very difficult for young people looking to enter the hair and beauty business to get any kind of hands-on work experience during the pandemic,” said Ms Anderson.

“But we’re delighted to now be able to offer the sort of practical experience that will not only help them decide if the industry is for them, but also equip them for their first role in the business.”

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Over the next year Ms Anderson, a passionate advocate for investing in young people’s future and making a tangible difference, will provide places for 32 youngsters to train in her award-winning salon.

She set up Brave, Strong, Beautiful as a community interest company in 2019 with a social mission to help young people with training opportunities, employment and mental health support.

The enterprise, which won the Scottish Edge Award Community Interest Company, currently has two Edinburgh salons – in Lothian Road and Restalrig Road – where the not-for-profit business offers a range of hair and beauty services from colour, cut and blow drys to tanning, waxing and eye treatments, as well as encouraging and supporting young people to forge a positive future.

“It’s a very rewarding business to be in,” says Ms Anderson, “and we’re all looking forward to welcoming a new generation of potential practitioners and introducing them to a really inspiring career, in a really exciting industry.”

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