This week the salons at the former Above Bar College have re-opened their doors as Eastleigh College's 'Above Bar Training'.
It had been a distressing start to the academic year for the students at Above Bar Hairdressing College in Southampton, after the company went into liquidation in September this year. But as of this week things are straight back on track for the young Apprentices.
Eastleigh College Chief Executive Tony Lau-Walker CBE explains:
"We are delighted to launch Above Bar Training in the heart of Southampton. It is important that an outstanding training provider steers standards and employer facing activities at the centre to meet the economic needs of the City."
When Eastleigh College were asked by the Skills Funding Agency to step in and help the Apprentices continue their studies, they tasked Jenny Jupe and Hazel Seal, both Eastleigh College Hairdressing course managers of seven years, to work with the Apprentices and get them back into training at the Southampton City Centre premises.
When asked about the takeover, Jenny and Hazel commented:
"We started the process by setting up an information evening for the current students and employers of Above Bar College, after which we were able to resume training at the Above Bar Southampton salons, for any students who wished to continue their studies with us."
"The real focus for us during the transition was to contact the affected students and put their minds at rest. We then looked through everything that they had studied, as we were keen not to duplicate any work that they had already completed. This also meant that all the students had to do was turn up; we took care of all of the paperwork in the background while they got on with what they are here for - their studies!"
Yasmin Allen, 17 who originally began studying with Above Bar College in September 2012, talked about her decision to study with Above Bar Training.
"[After the liquidation] I considered doing in-house training, but was worried that the stylists wouldn't have time to train me, so I decided to return to Above Bar and carry on my training with Eastleigh College. I love being back in the training salons and am really pleased with my decision to come back to Above Bar. I would definitely recommend people to come back!"
Charlie Wilton, 17 a student of Above Bar College and now Above Bar Training spoke about the positive change that the takeover has had on their learning:
"The overall result [of the takeover] is much better, our teachers before were very young and didn't have much experience. Since being back I feel like I've learnt a lot in a short space of time. I'm looking forward to learning a lot more, particularly about hair-up and how to create things that I see on the catwalk. I'm really pleased with my decision to come back as it's so much better now and a lot more organised."
"We know that it's not Above Bar Colleges fault as even the staff only found out [about the liquidation] when they were made redundant, but we are just pleased to be back!"
At the moment the returning students are looking at a range of cutting and colouring techniques, running the commercial salons, as well as enjoying master classes in hair-up as well as Affinage colour training. The salons have also benefited from a wealth of new equipment and stock, which will replace some of the more tired items left over from the takeover.
Although learning has already started for a large amount of Apprentices, the team have ensured that anyone wishing to return to Above Bar Training is able to do so at any time. When commenting on this Hazel Seal stated:
"It's not a problem to transfer back! Simply pop-in to Above Bar any time Monday-Thursday 9-4:30pm, or if that's not convenient, contact us on 023 8091 1182 and we can get you back into the salons straightaway! We are also expanding the offering to include a range of full-time hairdressing courses, which again you can enrol on and start immediately!"
Jenny Jupe also added "It's a very exciting time for Eastleigh College to be in the heart of Southampton and we hope in the future to expand the range of courses that we offer even further, to include Beauty as well as various one day training courses for salon owners, managers and salon staff, which should hopefully benefit local businesses."
"We are especially excited about having the opportunity to work with all of the salons in the local area, and perhaps with some of the students that are unable to travel to Eastleigh College."
For more information on the courses offered at Above Bar Training by Eastleigh College, please visitwww.abovebar.co.uk or call us on 023 8091 1195. Alternatively for client appointments please call 023 8091 1182.