Hairdressing training is a cut above at Fife high schools

Pupils Kasey and Ria explain how working in a busy hairdressers saw them gain an SQA qualification and essential skills for a career in Hair & Beauty.

25 August 2023 - SQA - Categories: General, Learner stories

Features and developments

Schools across the west of Fife have been working with local businesses to offer young people from the area the chance to achieve a valuable vocational qualification in Hairdressing.

Lime Salon Group has partnered with Ambition Centre for Training to provide pupils from Auchmuty, Beath, and Inverkeithing High Schools the opportunity to achieve a Level 1 SVQ in Hairdressing.

Pupils had the chance to develop valuable work-experience and develop essential skills in Health and Safety, Customer Care, and Product Knowledge, all while building their confidence in the busy salon environment.

John Baillie, owner of Lime Salon Group, and Emma Evans of Ambition Centre for Training approached the schools with the view of offering pupils a taster of what life in a busy salon is like and providing them with an insight into the skills and knowledge they would develop if they sought a career in Hair and Beauty. The salons involved would have the opportunity to encourage any potential future hairdressers the option to apply for a trainee position.

John Baillie, owner of Lime Salon in Inverkeithing said: “Taking the students out of the classroom and putting them in a successful, busy salon gives them the opportunity to experience a real life working environment. They receive a hands-on approach to learning new skills with the support and encouragement from experienced tutors.”

Emma Evans of Ambition Centre for Training added: “By putting this programme in place, we are able to work with our local schools so they can then offer students a different path into work experience, where the students gain valuable skills, and a recognised qualification.”

Emma adds: “This initiative is a great way for employers, training providers, and schools to work together on allowing students the option to get that real life work experience, achieve a qualification, and potentially move into a Modern Apprenticeship, further study or employment.”

Ria Robb, who attends Inverkeithing High School, said: “I joined the program because I saw it as an opportunity to get into hairdressing. I learned lots of new skills, working as part of a team, and learning about hairdressing. I really enjoyed the time in the salon, and it really helped me when I applied for my Modern Apprenticeship.”

Kasey Coutts, who attends Beath High School, said: “I really enjoyed the programme, it was good to learn the different skills and techniques that hairdressers use every day. I would recommend it to anyone that wants to get into hairdressing.”

Craig Finlay, Principal Teacher at Auchmuty High School, said: “After several of our young people said they wanted to pursue a career in hair and beauty, we worked with Lime Salon and Ambition Centre for Training to build an experience which included the Level 1 SVQ in Hairdressing in our curriculum offering – alongside the courses our young people had already chosen. We further extended this opportunity to the pupils of Beath High and Inverkeithing High as Lime has salons close by to these high schools.

“Everyone at Auchmuty High School is very excited to be continuing with this partnership next session. We continuously strive to find new ways to expand our curriculum offering to blend the work of the classroom with that of the work environment. This will best support all of our young people in achieving their positive destination.”

Kerry Williamson, Regional Manager at SQA said: “This initiative effectively links the world of work and school, and helps young people appreciate the need for qualifications – in a wide range of subjects – that can help them kick-start their career passions at the earliest stage.”

To find out more about all the SVQs that SQA offer, visit