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Apprentices the ‘life blood’ of salon group

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Andrew Price Salons: Senior stylist Kirsty Collett (left) with manager Rhys John, salon co-ordinator Anna Whiting-Whipps and apprentice Georgia Maher at the company’s Narberth salon

Andrew Price Salons: Senior stylist Kirsty Collett
(left) with manager Rhys John, salon co-ordinator
Anna Whiting-Whipps and apprentice Georgia
Maher at the company’s Narberth salon

THE OWNER of a West Wales hairdressing salons group, who describes apprentices as the “life blood” of his business, has been shortlisted for a prestigious Apprentice of the Year award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2014. Andrew Price Salons, which employs 115 staff at nine salons, including Cardigan, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Lampeter, Llanelli, Narberth and Swansea, is one of three finalists in the Medium Employer of the Year category.

The business will join 35 other finalists in 13 categories at the high profile awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Friday, October 31. The awards are organised jointly by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Showcasing excellence in skills development in Wales by learners, employers and learning providers, the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC with support from media partner,

Media Wales. The awards recognise employers who commit to developing their workforce through apprenticeships and other work-based learning programmes, which support employees during their training. They are also a great way to evaluate training and development, as well as a fantastic motivational factor for any workforce or learner. The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Andrew Price Salons has used the Apprenticeship Programme to meet the high standards demanded by the hairdressing industry since being established in Tenby 26 years ago. “We have always wanted to have a reputation for providing a high quality service to all our clients at affordable prices and to be at the forefront of technological and artistic advancement,” said founder and proprietor, Andrew Price.

“Apprentices are the life blood of our business and, through the development of our Apprenticeship Programme, we are able to nurture the best talent in Welsh hairdressing,” Over the past four years 88 per cent of apprentices have completed their Foundation Apprenticeship Programmes within the business and 66 per cent have moved on to the next level and undertaken an Apprenticeship.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James said: “Apprenticeships are one of the most practical and cost effective ways for a business to build a skilled workforce. An apprentice can learn the skills an employer needs to keep pace with developments in their industry and deliver the service customers demand. “I am delighted that employers like Andrew Price Salons share the Welsh Government’s commitment to training our future workforce.” More than 300 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales are expected to attend the high profile awards ceremony, where guests will dine out with chefs from the Welsh National Culinary Team.

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Business

Young businesswoman scoops award

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Business owner Kimberley Davies: Best New Wedding Business 2015 for Serenity Health and Beauty Salon

Business owner Kimberley
Davies: Best New Wedding
Business 2015 for Serenity Health
and Beauty Salon

A YOUNG businesswoman has just scooped her first award after trading for as little as 2 years. 23-year-old Kimberley Davies is the owner of Serenity Health and Beauty Salon, on William Street in Cardigan.

Recently nominated by her bridal clients for her outstanding service and close attention to detail, Kimberley attended the awards ceremony of the Welsh National Wedding Awards at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea on Sunday evening (Nov 22) where she won the Best New Wedding Business Award for Region 4 (Powys and Ceredigion).

Speaking of the achievement on Facebook, Kimberley said: ‘Thank you to all of my wonderful brides and clients for nominating and supporting me in business over the last 2 years! Tonight I was presented with Best New Wedding Business award and I couldn’t be happier!’

Speaking later in the week, Kimberley told the Herald: “I never thought starting off a brand new make up and beauty business nearly 2 years ago at the age of 21 would result in winning the Welsh National Wedding Awards 2015 for Best New Wedding Business in my region. I’m absolutely thrilled that the work I do for bridal clientele has been recognised and I love nothing more than making each bride’s day individually special! Thank you so much to my lovely brides who voted and continue to support the business!”

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Business

The power of the pension pot

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'Retirement' can be more than staying alive: Margaret Mountford.

‘Retirement’ can be more than staying alive: Margaret Mountford.

FUNDING secured in the past three years has managed to make a difference to small businesses and services across Ceredigion, the Council has said.
£3.4m European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) Axis 3 money has been used by Ceredigion County Council over the last 3 years to bring about grass roots improvements to small businesses and services across the county. Finishing in December 2014, the Programme reporting shows that the initial open call undertaken by the Council in 2011 for activity proposals has paid dividends in the breadth and number of small scale improvements that have been made over the Programme period.
Reflecting on the success of the Programme, Cllr Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism outlined some of the achievements: “Small businesses and tourism have been the focus for a lot of the investment. In total we have advised or assisted around 200 micro enterprises whilst giving small amounts of finance to 87 of them. This has led to the creation of 32 jobs and 14 new micro enterprises. We have managed to support 15 small scale tourism infrastructure improvements which have seen at least an additional 350,000 additional visitors. Some of these investments have been quite large, like the reinstated stations along the Rheidol Railway or the improved accommodation at the Urdd Camp, whilst others have been more modest – such as improvements to bridleways.
We haven’t ignored other important areas of rural life though, for instance we have been able to financially support 33 projects related to improving basic services such as village halls, community transport, play areas and even a broadband mast. Many villages have benefited from small scale improvements to public spaces through our Balchder Pentrefi scheme. When added together, all these individual actions have made a real contribution to the rural way of life and economy in Ceredigion.”
The Programme has now come to an end, and the County Council will be hoping that the Ceredigion will be able to benefit from the next round of EAFRD money which is mainly being delivered by the Welsh Government.

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Business

Video firm supports local businesses

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A PEMBROKESHIRE based video production company is developing its facilities to help local businesses in new ways.

Oddsox Productions is a unique, professional video production service. They work with local businesses to provide a unique and cost effective way to advertise to new customers worldwide via video advertising on website and social media.

Creative director Nikki Ross, of Pembroke, says: “It’s so difficult to set up a successful, sustainable business in this part of Wales. Lack of money in the local economy means most small businesses are struggling to survive. We work with clients in the oil and gas industry and local smaller businesses to help grow the local economy.”

Nikki gained a degree in Film, Television and drama studies at Aberystwyth University and went on to do work experience with Prospect pictures in London, helping out at the Good Food live show. Returning to Pembrokeshire she spent time working as a runner and production assistant with Curlyman productions before setting out on her own venture.

“I set up Oddsox productions in 2008 in the middle of the recession” she says. “It was tough as everything I had at the beginning was through my own finances. I bought a small hand-held camera and used it for as long as I could.”

A few years later, Nikki received a grant from the LIF (Local Investment Fund) which helped her to source new, much needed equipment.

“I used it to update my camera and buy a new tripod. It was the next step to enable better quality production. In this business you have to keep updating the equipment to keep up with technology and other competitors.”

Nikki feels that the key to a successful business is the balance between communicating with clients in a friendly and approachable manner and understanding their vision in order to get what they want out of the partnership.

She says, “Some people have a clear idea of what they want. Others need more guidance, it’s about being adaptable to people’s needs.”

This is partly behind the unusual name for the business.

“I chose the name Oddsox because every client is different. No two productions we do are the same. We are all about working to create a unique vision for each individual business.”

Nikki says it’s been good to see the business grow but she would still like to expand further, perhaps taking on a few regular staff. She currently works alone, hiring freelancers or relying on the help of friends and family if she needs an extra pair of hands. The demand for business fluctuates but each day is different. She is currently working on a new area of Oddsox.

“I’ve had so many enquiries regarding understanding how to use camera equipment and importing images and film onto social media. I decided to offer video and multimedia training and consultancy to local people and businesses to try and help them move into the 21st century, using video to help with Google ratings, encourage new innovative ideas and help get more people using social media for marketing.”

Nikki is also currently undertaking her BNUC-S qualification, in order to be able to fly a UAS, unmanned aircraft system. This, she says, will add an enhancement to the business and be more cost effective for clients who otherwise may have to pay to hire a crane or Jib to get the film shots they want. She is excited too, that Oddsox will be one of just two businesses in Pembrokeshire to be able to offer such a range of film techniques.

“The aerial system with camera attached can be used for all sorts of projects, from marine conservation filming, getting into intricate places that would otherwise not be possible; to shots of music events, rallies or boating events. The possibilities are endless!”

Nikki is a member of WIRE, Women in Rural Enterprise, a support and networking group for women in business in rural areas. “I’m currently the only member from South Pembrokeshire, as a group leader offering my multimedia knowledge and support to help promote the group and push new ideas forward.”

The ultimate aim, for Oddsox, she says is to help local businesses who don’t always have a lot of money to promote themselves and to learn the skills they need to continue to market and grow.

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