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Latest News and Blogs from Learn Plus Us

A career in hairdressing or barbering – is it worth it?  

Monday, 11 April 2022

Why begin a career in the hair sector?  

  • Be your own boss.

Stats show that around 60% of hairdressers in the UK are self-employed, this means that a career in hairdressing is often an excellent way to start your own business, giving you the flexibility and ownership to work your own hours, and juggle other commitments and priorities.

  • Get creative.

Hairdressing allows you the opportunity to continually develop your knowledge, learn new things and express your creativity.

  • Take your skills with you.

No matter where you live in the world, there will almost always be a demand for hairdressing.

  • Be social.

Hairdressing gives you the opportunity to meet new people and no two days are ever the same.

  • Earn a good wage.

Average salaries for hairdressers in the UK are up to £23kpa.

Hairdressing and personal care services are fundamental to us as Brits. In 2019, salons all over the country saw their biggest turnover ever with the population spending close to £9 billion on hair and beauty services.  But, with many salons and small businesses forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, the devastating impact of the last two years on the UK beauty and hair industry is yet to be fully determined.

However, we can already see many promising signs of recovery, and there was a reported 432% spike in service bookings in April 2021. At the end of the March 2021 lockdown, the most in-demand personal care service was a haircut, making up for 47% of all personal care bookings. The takeaway? Hairdressing services remain in high demand and a fundamental part of the UK personal care sector.

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A word from Learn Plus Us, Head of Hair and Beauty, Joanne Gunnel

“Hairdressing is a lifelong educational journey, you will never stop learning or developing as the hairdressing and barbering trends change each season. Personally, I have spent over 30 years in the industry and can still remember my first day as a Saturday girl and my passion and enthusiasm for the hair industry has grown each year.

I have spent the last 32 years passing on my skills, creative flair and enthusiasm for the sector to the next upcoming stylists, I am very proud of the learners that I have taught over the years, many of whom have gone onto build successful careers from salon owners to senior stylist in Mayfair.

Hairdressing jobs are said to be the happiest jobs you can have, with hairdressers regularly topping the ‘happiest at work’ polls across the world” 

Want to start a career in Hairdressing? How we can help: 

We are a specialist UK training provider who have been offering fulfilling and engaging apprenticeships in the UK for over 10 years. We offer free recruitment services to business partners with apprenticeship vacancies, and have helped hundreds of individuals to start their dreams careers. We offer VTCT accredited Hairdressing and Barbering apprenticeships in Essex, Herts, Beds, Bucks and London.

Exploring gender diversity in the childcare workforce  

Wednesday, 16 March 2022 

With males accounting for just 3 percent of the childcare and early years workforce, we believe now is the time to actively encourage and support gender diversity within the sector.

According to the Gender Diversification in the Early Years Workforce 2020 report, less than 1 in 5 of childcare managers’ report actively working to recruit men into their settings. Here, we explore why gender diversity within the childcare sector matters and look at ways that male practitioners can be supported within their roles to encourage retention.

Why gender diversity matters and the benefits of a mixed workforce 

It’s no secret that the childcare sector is facing a longstanding recruitment crisis and the problem could certainly be eased by recruiting more men into the sector.

Research shows that childcare is a ‘genderless’ job, meaning men offer the same level of skills and roles to settings as their female colleagues, however, men can sometimes fall victim to being excluded from certain tasks within the workplace through unconscious bias or gender stereotyping. It is vital to challenge gender stereotypes within the sector, and this is easier to do if the workplace is mixed.  

Mixed gender workforces allow children to have greater exposure to gender awareness and sensitivity. It encourages conversations around gender, giving the opportunity for myths and stereotypes to be challenged. It also gives children a broader outlook on ‘gender roles’ within the workplace and life in general.

3 ways to support male practitioners working in the childcare sector 

The findings of the Gender Eye 2020 report also show that 51% of men (compared to just 6% of women) have contemplated leaving the profession due to concerns around sexual abuse allegations. It is clear that in order to retain men in the sector, support from managers and settings is needed to ensure they feel adequately supported and safeguarded in their roles.

  1. Settings should create a consistent message and ethos of diversity within the workplace and actively work to recruit more men into their vacancies. This could be through the use of diversity within imagery on social media and other digital platforms, or by expressing their interest in recruiting male professionals/apprentices.
  2. Settings should consider the challenges that male practitioners can potentially face and provide them with additional support so they feel equipped to face these challenges confidently.
  3. Challenge unconscious bias and gender stereotyping within the workplace, ensuring male staff have access to all parts of their role (intimate care, rough and tumble play etc). Sensitively address parental concerns with reassurance of the safeguarding policies and procedures whilst challenging gender stereotypes that might be a contributing factor.

What other ways could settings attract a more diverse workforce?

  1. By providing outstanding career focussed Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG), with a range of pathways for all people considering working in childcare or education, settings will attract a more diverse mix of applicants, including men. Career pathways could include the full range of children’s and young people services, teaching and social work.
  2. With life expectancy increasing, more people are adopting a semi-retirement approach in their older years, somethings leaving their career or full-time roles and seeking part-time or more family friendly work. Here they are able to make a difference in the lives of others through their ‘lived’ life skills. Settings that are able to offer flexible or part-time roles may wish to consider recruitment campaigns that offer this type of flexibility and focus.

For more information and resources on gender diversity within childcare, visit the Gender EYE (Gender Diversification of the Early Years Workforce: Recruiting and Supporting Male Practitioners) website here. Read the full report below 

https://gendereye.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/gendereye-final-end-of-project-report-28-oct.pdf

How can we help? 

We are a specialist UK training provider who have been offering fulfilling childcare apprenticeships in the UK for over 10 years. We offer free recruitment services to business partners with apprenticeship vacancies, and have helped hundreds of individuals to start their careers in Childcare and Early Years Education.   

Get in touch to find out more about our range of apprenticeships: training@learnplusus.co.uk 

 

5 Motivation and Morale Boosting Hacks to Implement at Work

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Boost your motivation with our 5 simple hacks for keeping up morale whilst working in childcare and early years   

It’s no secret that the first few years of a child’s life have life-long effects on their development, and early years workers play a vital part in shaping whole generations of young minds. There is no end to the benefits of a positive role-model in our early lives, as a childcare worker, you get to share in the daily successes of the children you work with, and you get to help them learn from their failures. We all have that one person from childhood whose presence has shaped who we are today.

However, working in childcare is not always an easy feat. Long hours, staffing shortages and financial concerns can leave us wondering if we made the right career choice. With this in mind, we’ve come up with 5 simple hacks to help you stay motivated and boost your morale when things get tough. 

1. Be present in the moment and treasure the ‘small wins’ that happen throughout your day.

Working in childcare can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, many workers we’ve spoken to are blown away by the ‘little wins’ that happen throughout their day. It can be easy to forget the look on a child’s face when they learn something new, or the excitement of a child that made a new friend at nursery. Keeping a mental diary of these interactions can give us the boost we need to keep going when things are tough.

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2. Set yourself small, attainable goals and reward yourself.

Checking things off our ‘to-do’ lists can be a huge motivation boost. Set yourself small, attainable goals to remind you of the difference you are making in the lives of these children. Don’t forget to reward yourself for your hard work.

3. Praise your colleagues or staff, and share in their successes.

Creating a positive working environment that facilitates a culture of kindness, empathy and respect for everyone’s unique contribution can help to boost collective morale.

4. Remember your ‘why’. 

Finding personal fulfilment is at the core of our needs as humans. At the top of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, is the human desire for self-fulfilment – which means having the opportunity to achieve our full potential. Don’t underestimate the power of your personal goals and achievements at work. Remembering the reasons you started your career in the first place will help you to stay focused on your goals and keep your passion for what you do alive.

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5. Invest in your career to help you achieve your career goals.

Up-skilling can give you more control over your career journey and help you to achieve your career goals. Whether that be a promotion, a transition into different role or just to feel more confident in your current position, completing an apprenticeship or diploma can help you excel in your career.

Speak to your superiors or a trusted colleague if you are struggling and need help or support at work. There is no shame in needing support when we face challenges at work. Whether that be some time out, some extra support out of hours, better communication within the workplace, or simply an honest chat about how we are feeling, speaking to a trusted colleague or superior, can give us the boost we need to overcome or navigate challenging periods at work.

Apprenticeships: Build the Future: Train, Retain, Achieve

Thursday, 3 February 2022 

National Apprenticeship Week: What is it?  

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) runs from 7 – 13 February, and in 2022, it has never been more important to highlight the positive impact of apprenticeships in the lives of young people, as well as on the UK workforce.

The theme for NAW 2022 is ‘Build the Future: Train, Retain, Achieve’, a true celebration of the benefit, value and opportunity that apprenticeships bring to individuals despite their backgrounds and previous academic achievement.

Learn Plus Us Tutor, Rita, has been helping to deliver apprenticeships with us for 7 years.  We asked Rita to explain exactly what apprenticeships are and why they are so beneficial. Watch Rita’s video below, or click here to watch it

Discover our range of apprenticeships here

We’ve seen countless individuals find success whether that be through starting their own business off the back of their apprenticeship, gaining a promotion at work, or simply feeling more equipped and confident in their current role.

At Learn Plus Us, we feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work alongside thousands of apprentices over the last 10 years– helping them on their journey towards finding meaningful work. We have never doubted the role of an apprentice in future-proofing the UK workforce, and we’ve seen countless individuals find success whether that be through starting their own business off the back of their apprenticeship, gaining a promotion at work, or simply feeling more equipped and confident in their current role.

What’s it like to be an apprentice?

Apprentices are hardworking, determined and are often well-versed in multitasking. They are able to juggle study time, assignments and exams, with a paid work placement through mandatory 20% off-the-job training allowance.

With university graduates sometimes struggling to find meaningful jobs when they leave education, apprenticeships are an opportunity for young people to earn a wage whilst they learn, and to build confidence in their workplace whilst pursuing their chosen career path.

We caught up with Level 3 Childcare Apprentice, Olivia, to find out what it’s really like to be an apprentice, what she loves most, and what has been most challenging. Watch her full video below, or click here to watch it in a new tab.

Discover our range of apprenticeships here

What are the benefits to me as an employer?

It’s no secret that apprenticeships benefit employers as well as employees. Workplaces that invest in up-skilling or re-skilling their staff have greater staff retention and a happier and more productive workforce. Upskilling your employees will future-proof your business and can help your staff to thrive and excel in their workplace. If you are looking for an apprentice to fill a role within your company, get in touch to find out how we can help.

How can we help?

We are a specialist UK training provider who have been offering fulfilling apprenticeships in the UK for over 10 years. We offer free recruitment services to business partners with apprenticeship vacancies, and have helped hundreds of individuals to start their careers in Childcare and Early Years Education, Hairdressing, Beauty and more. Get in touch to find out more about our range of apprenticeships: training@learnplusus.co.uk

3 ways to stay motivated to reach your goals in 2022

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

How many times have you set yourself goals at the start of a new year only to feel disheartened by the end of January? We all start the year with the greatest intentions, we want to be healthier, learn a new skill, work towards a promotion at work, or start the journey to landing our dream job. In reality, new year goals can sometimes be unrealistic and short-lived.

If you are taking on, or finishing an apprenticeship this year, or studying for a new qualification, consider these three key principles to help you stay on track:

  1. Consistency 

Set yourself small, realistic goals each week and stick to them. An hour of focused time a day will help you tick things off your ‘to-do list’. Stick to appointments with your tutors and attend any lessons regularly. Your tutors are there to support you, give you feedback and a plan to help you succeed. Make use of your time with them, ask lots of questions, and give them suggestions on how best support you.

Consider downloading our free study planner pack for 2022 to help you organise your time.   

2. Perseverance and reward  

Avoiding or putting-off work can be a natural reaction to feeling overwhelmed, but this can turn into a vicious cycle. Facing tasks head-on will help you to feel less overwhelmed in the long term. Preserving through difficult periods and overcoming challenges will give you the motivation to keep going. Don’t forgot to reward yourself regularly for your hard work!

3.     Acceptance  

Accept your limits and know when to ask for help. None of us learn in exactly the same way, and success looks different from one individual to the next. One of the keys to success is to identify if there are any barriers stopping you from reaching your goals. Simple, practical things could make a big difference, try; changing your study environment, reducing your screen-time, taking more breaks during study time, studying at a different time of the day, and making a list of what other priorities or distractions might be getting in your way.

Speak to your tutor if you are facing a challenge or have hit a roadblock in your studies.

Finally, don’t fear failure. Failure can be a healthy of part of any learning journey. Setbacks can often provide excellent learning opportunities, helping us to find new ways to reach our goals. The key is not to give up.

Looking for an apprenticeship? We can help…

We are a specialist UK training provider who have been offering fulfilling apprenticeships in the UK for over 10 years. We offer free recruitment services to business partners with apprenticeship vacancies, and have helped hundreds of individuals to start their careers in Health and Social care, Childcare and Early Years Education, Business Administration and more. Get in touch to find out more about our range of apprenticeships: training@learnplusus.co.uk

Preparing for success in 2022

How can we prepare for a successful 2022 without putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves?

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Looking ahead to a new year can sometimes be a daunting ask. The pressure to set unrealistic goals and resolutions, the temptation to compare ourselves to others, or our inclination towards perfectionism or ‘all or nothing’ thinking can sometimes leave us feeling overwhelmed.

So, how can we prepare for a successful 2022 without putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves? Here are 5 things to keep in mind;

  1. Avoid comparisons. You and your journey are completely unique, there is not one way to achieve success in 2022.
  2. Be realistic and make your goals S.M.A.R.T. Setting unrealistic goals will only discourage you from reaching your potential, do some research and learn from the challenges you faced during 2021.
  3. Do not fear failure, instead, see it as a natural and important part of the process. We learn from every set-back we face.
  4. Invest in your education. Investing in your education can help you progress in your career and give you better chances of achieving your career goals- setting you up for a brighter future. Explore our range of courses and apprenticeships here.
  5. Ask for help. Whatever your goals are for the year ahead, seeking support from friends, family, colleagues, your tutors or professionals will give you the vital support system needed to keep moving forward.

We asked Learn Plus Us tutor and Curriculum Manger, Julie, to share one piece of advice to help learners to achieve their goals in 2022.

“To prepare for studying, to prepare for success, I would advise my learners to have the confidence to seek support and guidance not only from me as their tutor, but also from the support network that they have around them. We are all there to support our learners to achieve their aims and aspirations and together we can all work towards achieving those goals!” – Julie, Childcare Curriculum Manager and Tutor.  

Learn Plus Us Chair, Debbie Gardiner MBE shares;

“My hope for 2022 is for all of our apprentices and learners to make the most of the fantastic opportunity to learn, achieve qualifications, progress into work and progress in their careers. Our Government funded skills and development schemes make training more accessible than ever, offering people of all ages, from all backgrounds the same access to education. Many of us have been forced into changing the sector we work in during recent times, and have had to rethink our  careers, but as we approach the start of 2022 when things still feel uncertain, apprentices and learners at Learn Plus Us can feel confident that they will benefit from being on one of our courses.”

What are apprenticeships and why become an apprentice?

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships help individuals of all backgrounds to achieve qualifications whilst working and earning money. They typically last between 12 and 24 months and unlike college or university, there generally aren’t many qualification-based entry requirements, and most of the learning happens through on-the-job training at your chosen workplace.

In short, apprenticeships can give you the skills, knowledge and experience to build a successful career in a supportive and practical setting. In England, there are apprenticeships for over 1,500 job roles, which means you are almost guaranteed to find an exciting and fulfilling position to suit your interests.

To be considered for an apprenticeship programme in England, you need to be aged 16 or over, living in England and not in full-time education.

Discover our range of Apprenticeships here

Apprenticeships are an excellent way of progressing your career whilst also earning money. Many individuals receive promotions after completing their studies, or can even go on run their own businesses as a result of their qualifications.

Why take on an apprenticeship? The 4 main benefits of being an apprentice

With the theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2022 just announced, there’s no better time to reflect on the benefits of being an Apprentice in London and the UK. National Apprenticeship Week will be held between 7th-13th February 2022 and will focus on ‘Building the Future’, celebrating the many benefits that apprenticeships bring to employers, individuals and the wider economy. In 2019/20, there were over 700,000 people participating in an apprenticeship in England.

  1. Gain experience as well as qualifications.

    Many university graduates struggle at the start of their career due to lack of experience, an apprenticeship gives you hands-on industry experience as well as nationally recognised qualifications.

  2. Finances.

    Apprenticeships are funded by your employer and by the government, there are no tuition fees to consider and no burden of student debt to take on.

  3. Learn in a supportive and highly-skilled environment.

    Learning on-the-job means you are surrounded by industry experts; you also have your expert apprenticeship Tutors to go to for support and guidance.

  4. Earn money.

    Apprenticeships allow you to earn a wage whilst you are working and studying.

It’s no secret that apprenticeships benefit employers as well as employees. Workplaces that invest in up-skilling or re-skilling their staff have greater staff retention and a happier and more productive workforce. Upskilling employees future-proof businesses in the same way that being an apprentice can future-proof your career, giving you the skills and experience you need thrive in your chosen sector.

Looking for an apprenticeship? We can help…

We are a specialist UK training provider who have been offering fulfilling apprenticeships in the UK for over 10 years. We offer free recruitment services to business partners with apprenticeship vacancies, and have helped hundreds of individuals to start their careers in Health and Social care, Childcare and Early Years Education, Business Administration and more. Get in touch to find out more about our range of apprenticeships: training@learnplusus.co.uk

What are Functional Skills and why are they important?

Monday 15 November, 2021 

functional skills

Functional Skills in English and Maths provide the tools needed to successfully progress in education, work and life. They enable us to be able to work confidently, effectively and independently in the workplace.

What are functional skills?

Functional skills are qualifications which are offered at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Here we will focus on Functional skills in English and Functional Skills in Mathematics.

Functional skills in English include three key parts:

  • Speaking, listening and communication
  • Reading
  • Writing

Functional skills in Mathematics cover:

  • Data handling
  • Numbers
  • Measurements
  • Shapes

Why should I take a functional skills course?  

Functional Skills qualifications can make you more employable, particularly if you do not have GCSE’s in English or Maths. They can also help you to do your job more efficiently, be more productive and feel more confident in the workplace. They form an important part of many apprenticeships and other qualifications.

Learn Plus Us Functional Skills Tutor, Kavita, shares, “As a GCSE equivalent qualification, Functional Skills can benefit you professionally as well as personally. They are respected by employers and can help boost your employability. They can even set the foundation for further study.”

Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you progress your career with Functional Skills qualifications.

How can we help?

Learn Plus Us are education experts serving London and the UK. We offer Functional Skills in English and Maths at levels 1, 2 and 3 and all learners have the opportunity to progress from one level to the next. Many of our apprenticeships and level 2-5 courses include functional skills as part of the qualification. Discover our range of courses, or email us to find out more about our Functional Skills courses.

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