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Meet Popham, Small Apprenticeship Employer of the Year at the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards

Popham hairdressing is Oxford’s Sassoon Professional Partner and the only UK hairdressing company to be awarded Champion Investor in People. They offer hair-cutting and a wide range of colour services in their three Oxford salons and lead in the delivery of higher standards of practice, craft skill, design and creativity.

Popham believe that it’s a privilege to be trusted to change the way a person looks - even transform how they feel about themselves - and are committed to providing a true quality hairdressing service, through investment in the development of their team.

To ensure the sustainable delivery of the highest standards, training is a high priority at Popham and their Apprenticeship programme covers not only the NVQ curriculum, but also Sassoon ABC cutting and colouring methods and an in-house Popham Diploma. Popham training programmes continue post-Apprenticeship, to ongoing in-service development.

Popham were selected as winner of the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards Small Apprenticeship Employer Award by sponsor High Spec Composites. Executive Director Sarah Jaycock said: “Company directors Shirley and David are both incredibly passionate about Apprenticeships and training their staff; they go above and beyond to ensure they have the best resources and training available as well as encouraging progression within their business. They have a compassionate commitment to their Apprentices and have worked with individuals to overcome low self-esteem and the effects of having been bullied whilst actively encouraging them to excel in their careers.”

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“We were especially impressed with Popham’s attitude towards the future of Apprenticeships, not just within their business, but within the sector of hairdressing in general; they are keen to attend schools and colleges promoting hairdressing as a progressive and rewarding career in line with more glamorous vocations, whilst aiming to remove the ‘common misconceptions’ that it’s a feminine/low skill job.”

Founding Director of the company, David Popham, said: “In my youth I had been so lucky to have my time training with and working for Vidal Sassoon, the opportunities to learn and develop there were exceptional. So it now gives me a real kick to provide the same space for our Apprentices to grow in confidence, develop careers, be well paid, have fun with their creativity and most of all to be fully self-expressed - something which all our Apprentices, past and present, can take away for the rest of their lives.”

“It remains our commitment to enable people through Apprenticeships and ongoing training, sharing ideas for the future, not only learning from us, but making it their own for the next generation. This acknowledgement for our long-standing commitment to Apprenticeships gives us the opportunity to share and learn with the wider community of Apprenticeship providers across many business sectors.”

Apprentice Ella Godfrey joined Popham in July 2016, after completing GCSEs at Matthew Arnold School in Botley. She says: “We are like a family at Popham and we support each other and help each other when we are struggling. I am just about to qualify and be a stylist in my company and I am very much looking forward progressing further within company and continuing to learn.”

Sarah Cherrill, Training Manager at Popham said: “We have worked hard, for so many years and it’s so incredible to be acknowledged. This award is for all of our team - our Apprentices, trainers and our training provider Introtrain, who work so tirelessly and commit to delivering the best possible training programme we can. Thank you for giving us this wonderful award, it means so much to our whole team. I’m sure this is just the beginning of more amazing things to come for Popham!”

Rebecca Manger, Training Co-ordinator at Introtrain said: “It’s a pleasure to work with a salon that commit so much to the training and development of staff, not only during their Apprenticeship but also throughout their careers at Popham.”

Pictured above are Shirley and Dave Popham and Sarah Cherrill with Matt and Sarah Jaycock of High Spec Composites.