REALLY entering into the spirit of the Worcester News 100 in 100 initiative, one Worcester hair salon has launched its own “search for an apprentice” competition.

As our campaign aims to have 100 county businesses signing up apprentices in 100 days, Avant Garde in the city’s Warndon Villages has promised a job to the right applicant. “We just thought this would be a novel way of taking on an apprentice,” explained Ian Beswick, who runs the business with his wife Naomi.

“We are a young team here and we are looking for someone to fit the bill.”

Potential apprentices will need to show why they think they would make the best apprentice and what they think are the qualities of a good apprentice.

Mr Beswick said: “The apprentice we eventually appoint will be trained to a high standard and this is an excellent opportunity for the right person.

“We fully suppport the employment of more apprentices, because they are the future.” Details can be obtained from

One apprentice who has shown the value of the system is 20-year-old Alice Russell from St John’s, Worcester.

Alice contacted Hit Training of St Mary’s Street, Worcester, expressing interest in being a chef in the restaurant sector of hospitality.

The company set up an interview for her at Browns in Worcester, where she was offered the position of apprentice chef and started on the apprenticeship minimum wage. After 12 months training with the head chef and her Hit assessor Phil Kelly, Alice completed her Level Two professional cookery intermediate apprenticeship and was taken on permanently.

She took a promotion as chef de partie and was put on to a competitive salary.

“Alice has embraced her training and even helped Hit out at The Real Apprentice event in May 2011 at County Hall in Worcester,” said Hit area manager Kerry Davies. “She did a food preparation demonstration and chatted to other young people, to show them how successful an apprenticeship can be if you have the support of a good employer and training provider.”

Although Alice was made redundant when Browns closed in December, she used her skills, knowledge and references to approach potential new employers to find work.

Within two weeks she accepted a job offer as chef de partie at The Dormy House Hotel in Broadway.