Edinburgh Social Enterprise Hairdressing Salon opens first hairdressing school of its kind


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Kerry Anderson, Founder of the Downtown Salon Branch, has launched a unique new 12-week training program for young people interested in the hair and beauty industry.

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Salon owner Kerry Anderson teaches a new student.

The first course begins this month with students receiving two-day training each week – the only program of its kind to offer young people leaving school the opportunity to learn in a salon-work environment, rather than follow the college route.

In addition to giving interns invaluable insight into the industry, the course provides additional support in customer service, confidence building and employability skills.

“It has been very difficult for young people looking to enter the hairdressing and beauty industry to gain practical work experience during the pandemic,” said Ms. Anderson.

“But we’re thrilled that we can now offer the kind of hands-on experience that will not only help them decide if the industry is for them, but also prepare them for their first role in the business. “

Over the next year, Anderson, a strong advocate for investing in the future of young people and making tangible improvements, will offer places for 32 young people to train in her award-winning salon.

She created Brave, Strong, Beautiful as a community benefit business in 2019 with a social mission to help young people with training, employment and mental health support opportunities.

The company, which won the Scottish Edge Award Community Interest Company, currently has two Edinburgh salons – at Lothian Road and Restalrig Road – where the non-profit company offers a range of hairstyling and beauty services ranging from from coloring, cutting and brushing to tanning, waxing and eye care, as well as encouraging and supporting young people to forge a positive future.

“This is a very rewarding endeavor,” says Ms. Anderson, “and we are all looking forward to welcoming a new generation of potential practitioners and introducing them to a truly inspiring career, in a truly exciting industry. “

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