Although all apprenticeships follow the same pattern, there will be small differences depending on where you live


In England, you’ll follow the new Hair Professional and Advanced and Creative Hair Professional Standards (Trailblazer) apprenticeships – developed by hair employers to ensure apprentices gain the level of knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to work competently in a hair salon, barbershop or beauty salon. This will include:

≠ Off-the-job training

≠ On-programme training
(or the phase where an apprentice learns the required knowledge, skills and behaviours)

≠ A gateway
(which enables an apprentice to move through the different elements of an apprenticeship)

≠ An end-point assessment


Currently in Northern Ireland, hair and beauty apprentices must be aged between 16 and 24.
The following hair and beauty apprenticeships are available in Northern Ireland, all at Level 2 and Level 3.


There are three types of apprenticeship in Wales:

≠ Foundation apprenticeship (Level 2)

≠ Apprenticeship (Level 3)

≠ Higher apprenticeship (Level 4)

Welsh language and bilingual apprenticeships are available. Apprentices must be 16 or older.

Foundation apprenticeships are a great way to begin a career in hair or beauty. They include a hair or beauty qualification at NVQ Level 2 (equivalent to five GCSEs). Entry to the hairdressing framework is usually at foundation level. If you have previous qualifications or experience it’s possible to start at Level 3.


Modern apprenticeships in hairdressing and barbering are offered at SCQF Levels 5 and 6 (NQF Levels 2 and 3) in Scotland. Apprentices must be 16 or older.

Apprentices start at SCQF level 5 before progressing to level 6.

All Scottish Modern Apprenticeships must contain a relevant Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ). SVQs are work-based qualifications based on National Occupational Standards of competence drawn up by representatives from the hair and beauty industries.