Talent sparkles at Carrick Academy

Chelsea Steele (left) and Katie Eccles
Chelsea Steele (left) and Katie Eccles

Young people at Carrick Academy are running their own nail bar to gain employability skills as they prepare for life beyond the classroom.

Bellezza Nail Bar is set to take the school by storm as the young entrepreneurs continue learning and build a sustainable business at the same time!

Bellezza Nail Boutique is officially opened by Walter Smith from the Prince's Trust

Bellezza Nail Boutique is officially opened by Walter Smith from the Prince's Trust

South Ayrshire Council has been working with the Prince’s Trust and Developing Young Workforce Ayrshire (DYW) to put the nail bar in place so that young people can develop key skills to help them in the world of work.

The youngsters will not only gain confidence but will hone their people and communication skills which could help them in the future. Setting up and running a business could also be of benefit in the years ahead.

Funding of £11,500 has been invested in the scheme by the Prince’s Trust and DYW Ayrshire. The funding has also been used to set up a bike repair hub at the school where youngsters can learn bike maintenance which can be a pathway into other sectors such as manufacturing and engineering. Support is also being provided by Ayrshire College.

Chelsea Steele (17) in S6 said: “I am looking forward to working in the boutique. Dealing with lots of different people helps build confidence and being able to handle customers is very important too.”

Councillors William Grant (left) and Brian MConnolly get spruced up

Councillors William Grant (left) and Brian MConnolly get spruced up

Katie Eccles (17) also in S6 said: “I would really like to be a beautician when I leave school so getting used to the equipment and learning new techniques is great. There is a good mix of workers from S4-S6 so we are making new friends too.”

Councillor William Grant, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “These projects are ideal as they dovetail nicely with learning already taking place in the classroom.

“It’s a competitive jobs market so we need to do all we can to prepare young people for life beyond school and the nail bar could prove invaluable as the beauty industry is crying out for trained staff.

“Dealing with people and developing customer skills is also a key ambition as it encourages confidence and will make the working environment a bit more familiar.

“A lot of hard work has gone into setting up the nail bar and the bike repair hub and I would like to thank everyone involved.”

Other schools in South Ayrshire are also set to benefit as similar schemes are rolled out in Kyle Academy and Girvan Academy. Ayr Academy, Queen Margaret Academy Marr College and Belmont Academy are due to have initiatives in place over the next few months.

Claire Baird DYW Ayrshire Project Executive said: “Developing Young Workforce Ayrshire is delighted to support this Carrick Academy innovative school project in collaboration with the Prince’s Trust Scotland, South Ayrshire Council and Ayrshire College.

“We believe that the Bellezza project will significantly assist in the development of employability skills known as soft skills in the young people taking part in this project.”

Walter Smith Prince’s Trust Ayrshire said: “There is a strong need to develop confidence in our young people and give them the ability to interact with adults in preparation for joining the workforce.

“We are extremely confident that Bellezza will deliver this confidence and help prepare the young people for the world. It was great to get funding support from the Cash Back for Kids programme.”

Shona Stevens Head Teacher at Carrick Academy said: “The young people involved have been so enthusiastic and are also learning a great deal about business planning, managing finances, marketing and communications. They are also learning practical skills which could lead to employment in the future or inspire them to set up their own business.”

Similar schemes already running at Prestwick Academy and Newton Primary are set for a second year of funding in recognition of their success.