Pets and Friends in Hucknall will become the groomer training base for the pet store group, and in order to help plug the national shortage of dog groomers, will now offer iPET Network qualifications to their employees and general public.
Learners can now train and qualify in grooming, receive business advice to follow their dreams and turn an interest into a lucrative career, all under the watchful eye of veteran groomer and lead-trainer Kerry Chapman.Skilled groomer Kerry, 33, has been teaching dog grooming since 2019, but her entire career has been dedicated to animals working as a horse riding instructor before that.
Her passion and expertise have already guided scores of students into rewarding and competent careers in the industry.
But thanks to the school's refurbishment, and a new partnership with Ofqual regulated qualification Awarding Organisation iPET Network, she is convinced the sky's the limit for The Grooming Academy at Pets and Friends.
She said: "Grooming is such a rewarding and creative skill set, it is not something that anyone can simply pick up a pair of scissors and just do, so it is wonderful to see students blossoming into amazing stylists on these courses.
"The brilliant thing about the iPET Network courses is that learners can work at their own pace, and there is a lot of emphasis on handling and welfare too.
"The welfare of the animal is at the heart of everything that they do and those are our values too."The new, purpose-built training centre at Hucknall has been designed specifically to facilitate training sessions, whilst keeping animal welfare as priority number one.
The new centre is holding taster sessions for would-be students on Thursday, June 30 from 3pm until 8pm, and Saturday, July 2 from 12pm until 6pm.
The new courses are already proving a hit with students, many of who are changing their careers after working in other industries, to fulfill a dream of working with animals.
Pets and Friends is a pet care specialist, with stores featuring grooming salons across the midlands, and a website that delivers to customers nationally and offers convenient repeat subscriptions too.
Part of the Kennelpak group, the company has nearly 50 years’ experience in the pet care sector.
Sarah Mackay and Fern Gresty of the iPET Network, said: "We are so excited to be working with Pets and Friends and the new training school is looking amazing.
"Dog grooming is a growth industry, with more groomers needed than ever before to service the record number of dogs now living in UK homes.
"But for the industry to be one that everyone can trust, it is imperative that groomers get their qualifications.
"It is brilliant that Pets and Friends takes this responsibility so seriously."
Claire Bayliss, chief executive of KennelPak, said: "It is well known that there is a shortage of highly skilled groomers across the UK.
"We are delighted to have partnered with IPET Network to launch The Grooming Academy, a state-of-the-art training centre in Hucknall, giving groomers and those looking for a career change, the opportunity to gain a highly regarded qualification along with the skills they need to groom not just dogs, but a variety of small animals to exacting standards.
"This supports Pets and Friends' goal of creating communities of happy, healthy pets and responsible pet parents across the country.
"There are a number of training courses available that offer flexible hours as well as various payment terms, ensuring our courses are accessible to students of all ages.
"Our training team have more than 20 years’ experience in grooming puppies, dogs, cats and rabbits, and the courses are all tutored by a fully qualified trainer.”
To find out more about becoming a dog groomer, see a full guide here.
To find out more about Pets and Friends, click here.