On Wednesday 3rd June, the first Hair & Beauty South Wales vMeet took place. The online meeting was arranged by ISA Training, part of the Educ8 Group and saw 86 businesses from the Hair and Beauty sector across South Wales accept invitations to attend and discuss the challenges presented by COVID-19, share ideas and receive advice and guidance from a range of subject experts.
The vMeet, using Zoom, was hosted by Tim Barnett, Sales & Marketing Director for the Educ8 Group, who introduced Keith Conniford, CEO of the Hair Council. Keith gave a real insight in to the discussions that are taking place between the council and the government and the likely impact the relaxing of lockdown restrictions will have on the hair and barbering sector.
Rayner Davies, Managing Director of Bridgend based A&R Cleaning, gave invaluable advice to the assembled salon owners and managers on how to deep clean salons prior tore-opening and maintain a hygienic environment when operating in a post-COVID19 world. Rayner stressed the importance of the sector helping to restore the public’s confidence by implementing highly visible cleaning practises and procedures.
To provide advice on the help and support programs that are available to all businesses in Wales, Stephen Griffiths, Managing Partner of DWA Accountants, brought his considerable knowledge and expertise to proceedings. Stephen detailed the grants, loans and support programs being supplied by national and local governments and 3rd party organisations and explained how and whereto access such programs. Feedback from the group was that this was an extremely valuable session which helped to cut through the masses of often confusing information in the public domain.
Training and development of staff is of critical importance to the sector, which relies on a conveyor belt of incoming new talent. Simone Hawken of ISA Training led a session to explain how COVID-19 had impacted on the delivery of training to the Hair & Beauty sector and how the delivery of apprenticeships is likely to change in the future to reflect the new reality of a post-COVID19 world. Simone, and Educ8 Group CEO, Grant Santos, emphasised to those assembled that a ‘blended’ approach to training would be required in the future where technology and remote learning would play a bigger part but would not replace traditional one-to-one training methods. Tim Barnett emphasised the importance of business owners in the sector feeding back to training providers how salons would like training to be delivered to their staff after lockdown, so that new training delivery methods can be designed hand-in-glove with what the sectors needs and requirements are.
Experienced salon owner, Wayne Keene of UsTu in Porthcawl, shared with the group the practises that he has put in place in readiness to re-open and stressed the need for fellow salon owners to calculate their commercial break-even point and then design their post-COVID operating practises around that calculation. Wayne shared great ideas on topics such as staff scheduling, payment handling, PPE and physical layout of premises.
Such was the value of the conversations, the session was allowed to over run its scheduled 45 minutes and at the end there was a real sense that the sector was pulling together as a community to share ideas and practises and help each other through these extremely challenging times.
The vMeet was recorded for those who were unable to attend and can be viewed here
The Educ8 Group incorporating ISA Training, offer Apprenticeship programmes across South Wales to organisations of all types and sizes in the following subject areas: