Nov 2014 / Learners

Published: Porthcawl Gazette and Bridgend Gem

The ACT Training hair and beauty class of 2014 at Bridgend have quite literally rounded of the year in style by creating a range of fantastical looks to mark them gaining the final stage of their industry qualification.

Learners from ACT’s Nolton Street Centre in the town were given free rein to put their styling skills they have accrued throughout the year to use in any way they wanted, and created a variety of stunning designs in the process.

From a Shakespeare inspired fairy tale princess, to a punk-rock neon look, four students studying towards their Level 3 Apprenticeship in Hairdressing came up with a knock out series of styles to the delight of their tutor Elaine McCabe and other staff based at the centre.

The learners involved, who are otherwise employed at salons within the local area, have now progressed from their level 1 and Level 2, to Level 3 Apprenticeships as a result. Those taking part were also supported by beauty apprentices from ACT Bridgend, who helped them by creating some striking Prom and AvanteGarde themed make-up looks as part of their coursework too.

Hairdressing tutor Elaine McCabe said: “We like to challenge our students to think outside the box and bring their creative side to the fore, and our annual catwalk task presents us with the perfect opportunity to do this. 

“This year, however, we set them a photo-shoot task working alongside professional photographer Graham Davies where the learners had a full schedule on the day, with experience of working to the demands of a real photo shoot, and I was very proud of how professionally the learners worked.”

ACT Training is Wales’ largest training provider, providing more than 30 routes to a range of learning opportunities for young people across the country in the form of traineeships, apprenticeships and other vocational qualifications.

For hair and beauty trainees it operates flagship salons in Cardiff, Bridgend, Caerphilly and Wrexham, where training is delivered by tutors with big industry credentials and often a background working with some of the sector’s leading celebrity names.

Staff behind the photo-shoot brief were thrilled when learners went on to create a range of mood boards, research a variety of costume looks, create and discuss budgets, and work to a time scale which lead to a variety of out of this world looks that were produced on the day.

Student Katie King, who works at the Charizma salon in Pontyclun, said: “I enjoyed organising the event and being creative, and this was a great opportunity to show my skills, so I feel much more confident now in terms of taking part in events like this in the future.” 

Meanwhile Shivaun Dawe, from Innovation Hair Design in Bettws, Bridgend, said: “The day ran smoothly and this was due to the preparation before the event, and overall I’ve really enjoyed my training with ACT.

“Elaine was always on hand to help with any problems and to boost our confidence, and I enjoyed working with the photographer too, who put us all at ease.

Alisha Corria, who is self-employed at Studio 15 in Talbot Green, and Lauren Griffiths, who is employed by the Coco salon in Cardiff, also took part in the exercise. 

Gayle Ford, Bridgend Centre Manager, said: “It was an exciting day and fantastic to see learners and staff working together and generally having a great time. A lot of hard work went into preparing for the day which paid off, as the end result clearly shows.”