Andrew Collinge is hairdressing royalty to us – we still chuckle over his story of having to refer to a postage stamp before attending to Her Majesty’s hair. Good to see this smashing picture of him meeting ER’s daughter, Princess Anne, to receive a 2018 Princess Royal Training Award at St James Palace this week. The award is conferred on Andrew Collinge Hairdressing for the company’s unique Graduate salons concept – ie salons acting as a kind of a finishing school for hairdressers. All ‘newly qual’ stylists at AC’s outfit have to work in the salon to hone their skills before being passed for the regular shop floor. Neat. Plus, the eight-salon group’s outstanding commitment to learning and development pays off with greater client and staff retention
Graduate salon concept
The company received the commendation for its unique Graduate salons concept. Created by Hazel and Peter Collinge in the mid 1980s, who believed that training should be at the heart of the business, a Graduates salon is akin to a finishing school for hairdressers. All newly qualified Andrew Collinge apprentices go through a Graduates salon. These stand alone salons allow newly qualified stylists the chance to hone their hairdressing skills and to be given responsibility to help run the salons on their own; which sees them flourish and gain invaluable confidence. This successful programme has not only resulted in improving client retention year-on-year and fast-tracking careers but has also ensured the company has a solid base of loyal home grown talent.
“To receive this prestigious Award from HRH The Princess Royal in recognition of our Graduate salons gives me great pride. These stand alone salons, founded by my parents, have over years produced some of our finest hairdressers and tutors, many of whom play key roles in the company today. The Princess Royal commented to me that she had previously awarding my father an OBE for services to hairdressing training and congratulated all involved on this continued success and commitment to training.
There are six Andrew Collinge salons and two Andrew Collinge Graduate salons, all situated throughout the North West. To date, 83% of all Andrew Collinge stylists have been through the Graduate programme and almost half of all stylists have been with the company for more than 10 years. Trained from within, 63% of all current salon managers have worked their way up through the company since graduating. In 2012 Peter Collinge, the founder of the company, received an OBE from the Princess Royal for services to hairdressing.
Commenting on the awards, Charlie Collinge, Andrew Collinge Managing Director says: “We are particularly proud not only to be the first hairdressing company to receive a Princess Royal Training Award but also the first Merseyside-based company to be awarded. I am very pleased for our Graduates Salon teams, and the Graduate Apprentices themselves, to be recognised. They are hard working and talented teams.”
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