Telford College has appointed a new learner manager for its hair, beauty and catering team.

Jodie Allen has more than 15 years of hairdressing experience, having previously worked for leading salons including Royston Blythe, and Toni & Guy.

For the past two and a half years she has been combining her salon work with a part-time hairdressing lecturer’s role at Telford College’s hair and beauty training salon, The Retreat.

“I was always the in-salon trainer of our assistants, so I’ve been used to teaching – and that was a part of my job that I really loved,” said Jodie, from Shrewsbury.

“After Covid, I decided to start looking at how to get into teaching, and spotted a part-time job at Telford College. Two and a half years on, here I am proudly sat here as learner manager, making the move into education full-time.”

Jodie did much of her own training with the Toni & Guy academy, where she qualified with a distinction.

She said: “We have got outstanding facilities at Telford College for hair, beauty and catering, but it’s also the support that teachers give; they go above and beyond to make sure students achieve the best possible outcomes. They really care.

“We are working hard to build up our client base, because it’s really important to try to replicate a busy salon environment.

“Students need to be able to showcase what they can do. It goes beyond doing hair, painting nails and cooking – it’s about developing and using personal skills too.

“Your clients become your friends. People have told me in the past that I’ve been like their therapist for them at times; it’s a really important element of the job that you can’t put into a curriculum, but should never underestimate.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of this new job. I’ll still be doing some hairdressing teaching too – I love being with the students and seeing them flourish. I’m also excited about getting to know the beauty and catering students much better.

“From September we will be launching our first T-Levels in hair and beauty, so there’s a lot of preparation work needed to make sure that’s a success, building links with local employers so that our students have fantastic placement opportunities.”

She added: “Telford College has been overwhelmingly friendly and supportive since I’ve been here, and I’m excited to get started.

“Most importantly of all, I want to create a nice happy, fun environment here where we get good results, and do it all with a smile.”