Oxford hairdresser cuts to the chase with Boris on apprenticeships

Anne Veck skills roundtable

He might be in fairly urgent need of a haircut, but when Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, ‘met’ with Oxfordshire hair salon owner Anne Veck, it wasn’t her professional expertise in that department he was after.

Anne Veck took her seat at a virtual round table with the Cabinet Office  to discuss the state of play in the world of hairdressing and apprenticeships. The roundtable was led by Boris Johnson, senior Cabinet Ministers and the other business leaders.

Each participant was invited to share their experience on skills and training as the government seeks to learn from business leaders on how the country can build back better.

Anne Veck said: “The event was organised by the Prime Minister’s Business Team and it was an honour to participate thanks to the British Beauty Council allowing me to represent the hairdressing voice on this topic.”

Anne presented data that there were just 7,000 entrants in 2020, down 30 per cent on the previous year.  75 per cent of employers planned to cut back according to government’s own report.

Anne said: “I acknowledged the government action of the £3,000 grant when new apprentices are recruited and talked about additional and welcome dispensation to make completing hairdressing apprenticeships “easier.” by easing Covid close contact restrictions.

“I made the point strongly that hairdressing is an industry with huge career opportunities, and yet it suffers a skills shortage so it has enormous scope for recruitment and career opportunity.  I even managed to squeeze in a pitch for the VAT to be reduced to five per cent on services.  The one thing I ran out of time to offer was a haircut for the P.M.  once we are out of lockdown,” she added.