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Andrew Collinge Hairdressing has been honoured for its commitment to upskilling its workforce with a 2018 Princess Royal Training Award. Chairman and Creative Director Andrew Collinge personally received the award from HRH Princess Anne at an awards ceremony in St James’s Palace yesterday. The prestigious awards honour UK employers for their outstanding training and development programmes.

Unique training 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 standalone 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.

North West salons

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.

First award for Merseyside

Commenting on the awards, Charlie Collinge, Andrew Collinge Managing Director said: “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 hardworking and talented teams.”

Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group added: In an ever changing world, it continues to be critical for Britain’s businesses to invest in training to boost their productivity, address skills gaps and further develop their teams. We are delighted that Andrew Collinge is among a diverse group of organisations achieving the Princess Royal Training Award standard in 2018. I congratulate them, and all of the organisations who presented examples of the innovative, inspiring and impactful training. They are truly worthy recipients of this rigorously assessed royal award and it is fitting that their achievements have been rewarded.’

Says Andrew Collinge: ‘To receive this prestigious Award from HRH The Princess Royal in recognition of our Graduate salons gives me great pride.  These standalone 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 award ceremony at St James Palace was a very special occasion and I was particularly pleased to be able to share the occasion with Jane Wood, our Advanced Apprenticeship Training manager and Georgia Meacock, the current Andrew Collinge Graduate of the Year. Both are excellent representatives of all those who do fantastic work within our salons and training division.’