This is How to Attract Apprentices to Your Barbershop

For Modern Barber’s Apprentice Week we asked industry leaders to reveal their secrets to attracting apprentices in your barbershop. Sourcing quality apprentices can be a tricky task, so we put together these tips from some of the industry’s most forward-thinking voices on how you can attract some of the highest quality apprentices to your barbershop.

“If you’re putting out the good work, it will be recognised”

Jake Murphy, Internal Educator at Ruffians: “Knowledge is power. Being able to explain something simplistically is a demonstration of true understanding. Focus on yourself, master the art, and the right apprentice will resonate with your ethos. If you’re putting out the good work, it will be recognised.”

“Always treat apprentices like future staff”

Paul Simbler, Director of HOB salons: “We place a big focus on an apprentice’s career with HOB, rather than viewing the apprenticeship as just a means to an end. We are not recruiting apprentices, rather, we are recruiting future stylists and colourists. The additional graduate training programme on which HOB apprentices are enrolled, following completion of their apprenticeship, is presented as a seamless transition from step one to step two. Every apprentice is made aware that there is a clear and definitive pathway that they can follow to become a stylist or colourist in a HOB Salon. We’re not providing just a training programme, but a clear journey to success.”

“Revaluate your apprenticeship pay”

Hilary Hall, retired NHBF Chief Executive: “Remember when you’re recruiting, you’re competing with all the other shops in your area because everyone is finding it so hard to recruit suitable apprentices – especially in the 16-18 age bracket.  One way to set yourself apart from the others is to pay more than the National Minimum Wage.  The National Minimum Wage is just the legal minimum you can pay, not the ‘going rate’ so there’s nothing to stop you paying more to get the right candidate.  Are there other ‘nice to have’ incentives that you could throw in on top of their wages? ”

“They should be paid a liveable amount of money whilst they study a trade.”

Joe Pomper, Master Barber at Murdock London: You can’t live on an apprentice wage. These are people that want to learn skills and they want to get into barbering, and most of them come from a normal or poorer background and they should be paid a liveable amount of money whilst they study a trade. For example when I was starting out, I got offered a job at a really good salon but I couldn’t go because I had to get a train there and I couldn’t afford to get the train. So people can be held back from good opportunities simply because they can’t afford to get there.

Don’t miss Modern Barber’s Apprentice Week here.