YOUNG apprentices are getting vital experience working in the NHS after a health trust teamed up with a local college to open a new hair salon.
Apprentices are helping lead on the launch of a hair salon at the University Hospital of North Tees, set to open later this month.
Over the last two weeks, joinery and painting and decorating students have been renovating a vacant space by the hospital’s north wing entrance.
When it opens, the salon will be run by second and third year hair and beauty apprentices from the college.
It will initially be open two days a week and available for staff, patients and hospital visitors, with potential for expansion.
Vicki Spinks, the trust’s workforce project manager, said: “This new project marks the start of an exciting partnership we have started our local college.
“We are giving young apprentices vital work experience and giving them an idea about the qualities they will need to work in the NHS, developing our staff of the future.
“This new salon will be a fantastic facility open to anyone to use, at a heavily subsidised price.
“It’s fantastic to be working so closely with the college and developing strong links for the future.”
Ryan Scott, 17, one of the joinery apprentices involved, said: “We’ve all really enjoyed our experience so far.
“We are getting a taste of what it’s like working in a busy hospital. I’ve had treatment here myself for broken bones – it’s nice to give something back.”
Jeff Shaw, the college’s construction assessor, said: “This partnership with the trust is helping give these apprentices vital on-the-job experience.
“They are working in a large NHS organisation. There are rules and procedures to be carried out and followed. It’s giving them that experience and level of professionalism they will need in their careers.”