Training is hugely important for everyone in the hair and beauty industry. Even after you have achieved your required qualifications, continuing to refine your skills and learn new techniques is the best way to push your career even further and stay on top of your game.
For this month’s Ask the Expert feature, we spoke to the co-founder of Northwest Training College, Diane Mason, to find out how she and her partner, Danielle Wilcock, created a top beauty training centre.
Hi Diane! Can you give us an introduction to yourself and North West Training College?
At North West Training College, our objective is to educate and train our students to the highest standards within the nail and beauty industry. We commit to small classes to ensure individual attention for learners, while our open-door policy remains by our experienced tutors to help and guide every student.
Whether it’s a new career you are starting, or updating your current knowledge and skills, we are always here for you to provide guidance and continuous mentoring. I have 24 years experience. My partner, Danielle Wilcock, has 20 years – so between us we have a lot of passion!
We currently have 42 Private Courses and 21 Vocational about to come onboard. Between the two of us the courses are working out really well, and we have the best working relationship you could ever wish for.
What should a trainee beauty therapist consider when choosing their qualification or course?
They should always look to how far they want to take this. A qualification will take them further in life and give them a wider spectrum to move on from. Even if they did an accredited course, they can still achieve amazing things
Related: Choosing a Training Provider
Why is education so important for those already working in the beauty industry? What are the benefits of gaining new qualifications?
I think it is so important as all students need that underpinning knowledge to their industry experience. This will open more doors for them in their future learning and help them move forward with their career. A vocational qualification is recognised worldwide and ensures you have the most vital knowledge. Not all centres offer this and are approved as we are. There are a lot of various steps we take to ensure our standards are high.
How do you make sure you stay on top of your game in terms of industry knowledge?
Since opening our doors just over 3 years ago, we have been dedicated to growing from a mobile business, to our own shops, to an academy, then a vocational centre and now a college!
This has been immense, allowing us to offer a secure, friendly and supportive environment for learners. We always make sure our environment allows learners to expand their skill sets and gain confidence to open new nail and beauty businesses all around the Wirral area and beyond.
Recently, we gained the vocational seal of approval and became a VTCT approved centre. This ensures we stay on top of our game by offering our learners worldwide recognised qualifications.
As for staying on top of trends, I am now also a Glitterbels trainer for the Merseyside area, helping us keep current with the latest industry demands. We like to think we aren’t about image here, though – it’s always been about our students, not us. We really believe our college is out of this world and fully commit ourselves to ensuring everyone wants to train with us!
What would you say is the most popular training course you offer and why do you think this is?
The most popular would be our Nails & Lashes courses and our Level 3 VTCT Nails & Beauty Course.
Everyone asks for these courses! Mostly, people come to us through word of mouth as we have done this for a very long time and have built up a very good reputation.
How do you think trends in the beauty industry have changed over the years?
Trends are changing all the time! After 24 years we are still learning and keeping up with the Jones’!
But the best of it is that we support everyone, and we are our very own competition.
What advice would you give to anyone just starting out on their beauty career?
Follow your dreams and don’t run before you can walk! Always break it down to exactly what you want to do. There is always room for improvement and to expand.
What is your favourite thing about working in the beauty training industry?
We have passion in what we do. Seeing our students achieve their goals, watch their work progress and even move on to open their own shops is the best feeling in the world!
What are your thoughts on how social media has impacted the beauty industry?
Social media is massive in the industry, but also can be quite daunting on students too. So, we do advise them to keep up with all the trends but don’t spend too much time analysing others. It’s not always what it seems, though it can be great for advertising yourself and sharing your work with others.
What is next for your career through 2019 and beyond?
Oh, wow! Well for us this is it, we can’t get any bigger! All we can do now is give back all the experience and passion we have and love what we do until we retire!
But, hopefully bringing more funded courses on would be a next step in giving us a wider spectrum of school leavers.
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