Award-winning Worcestershire hotel and spa celebrates apprenticeship success with local beauty academy

The Malvern

With the hospitality staffing crisis continuing to dominate headlines, a Worcestershire-based hotel has switched its focus to inspiring the next generation with the graduation of its first two apprentices.

Last year saw The Malvern partner with the International Beauty and Hairdressing Academy (IBHA) based in Gloucester to provide a brand-new standard apprenticeship for Level 2 Beauty Professionals.

Designed by employers and industry experts, this apprenticeship aims to be the perfect solution to ensure training is a great fit for the needs of the spa with commerciality, relevance and currency at the forefront of its delivery.

After a successful first round, apprentices Katie Davies and Holly Biggs have passed with flying colours, despite the trials and tribulations of the pandemic.

Katie said: “It was difficult around lockdown as there was a lot of theory work, watching videos and Zoom calls but I found it more interesting. As it was mainly based on theory, I had a lot more written knowledge stuck in my mind and then it was fun to go back and get thrown into practical work and go full speed ahead. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience.

“Personally, the apprenticeship role is a much better way of learning different techniques and what to expect going into the job than what it would be than by learning it at college. I definitely recommend anyone who is given the opportunity to go and do it as an apprentice.”

Holly added: “It is such a hands-on job and I would think the best way to do it is by learning on the job and picking things up from other trained therapists.”

One of The Malvern’s longest-standing employees, Clare Allen, was also given the opportunity of doing this course and, as a result, has been given a newly created role within The Malvern as ‘Apprenticeship Coordinator’, responsible for training and developing all future Level 2 Beauty Therapy candidates.

Clare said: I found the course absolutely brilliant. It has been great to share knowledge, learn new things and it’s been a real personal journey for me. Apprenticeships give you the knowledge of working in that industry rather than being given your certificate and being thrown out into the real world. It is nice to get that balance of experience and academic learning.

“Just by working alongside other professionals like the college lecturers and my own management team, I learnt so much. I am delighted to now be able to utilise these skills helping others in my new role as Apprenticeship Coordinator and I look forward to gaining an Assessors qualification to enhance the skills within the team even further.”

Overseeing this apprenticeship journey, Nikki Scoffin, The Malvern’s Spa Manager, said: “We are excited to continue developing the team with two of our long-standing therapists starting the Level 4 course this year.

“From completing the Level 2 Beauty Therapy apprenticeship, Katie & Holly have gained a wider understanding for the spa as a business as they have worked as spa hosts to begin with, which has given them a full understanding of the client journey.”

Julie Speed, Director of the IBHA said: “All three of them have shown dedication, commitment and a huge sense of loyalty to the spa. In return, the spa has ensured that they have been mentored throughout by Clare Allen, their in-house trainer and senior therapist. Clare has been an inspirational contributor to their training and the partnership with IBHA has been a great success.

“Katie has gone straight on to doing her Level 3 Beauty Therapy course and qualifies this July and Holly is about to start the brand new, hot off the press, Level 3 Wellbeing and Holistic Therapist apprenticeship. She will be one of the first in the country to do this and we are so proud of both for their ambition and energy they bring to their training.”

The Malvern is now in the process of recruiting for two new Level 2 apprentices.