MONDAY night saw Saks Academy Darlington open their doors to local hairdressers and barbers for an exclusive launch party. The academy, situated on Duke Street, has recently revealed plans to train local hairdressing and barbering apprentices.

Apprentices can now receive Saks’ signature training at the renowned Darlington academy, which will be fully refurbished before opening in the new year. Saks’ exceptional Apprenticeship Schemes, along with their industry-leading focus on employer and apprentice support, has helped establish their Outstanding rating from Ofsted. Saks Apprenticeships are the only national apprenticeship provider in the industry to have achieved this rating.

The Northern Echo: Mandy giving her talk while Sarah is on stageMandy giving her talk while Sarah is on stage

Live hairdressing and barbering demonstrations were given to the guests from Saks’ creative director, Luke Pluckrose, and Saks educator, Sarah Papper. The two put Saks’ signature knowledge on show by transforming their models using a variety of techniques. There was also a delicious buffet, a prize draw, and Saks gift bags for all.

Head of Education, Tina Rook, and National Training Manager, Mandy Durkin, delivered talks about what Saks can offer employers and their apprentices.

Tina explained: “For employers, we offer absolutely everything in terms of support, including training materials, a twenty-four-hour phone line, and complete guidance with all employment issues.”

Mandy added: “We see it as a tri-party agreement between us, the apprentice, and the employer. We work together for mutual success.”

She continued: “Saks apprentices are exposed to great opportunities, such as assisting at prestigious industry and celebrity events, and being celebrated in industry magazines and our own The Apprentice magazine. We also issue other publications and competitions which all apprentices can take part in.”

The Northern Echo: Mrs Lucy Franklin introducing herselfMrs Lucy Franklin introducing herself

Also in attendance was Mrs Lucy Franklin, who the academy is sponsoring to enter the National Mrs Galaxy final in March 2020.

“Lucy’s been fantastic helping promote the academy and we’re proud to sponsor her,” said Marketing Executive, Ilona Bensley.