Oct 2023 / Learners News

If you’re looking for a career that offers the chance to flex your creative flair as well as have a lasting positive impact on your clients’ confidence and wellbeing, then you may want to look at hairdressing. 

Hairdressing offers many transferable skills and is consistently ranked as one of the happiest and most satisfying careers in the world. 

If you are looking to begin your journey in the sector but don’t know where to start, Jobs Growth Wales + offers the perfect course. 

Training provider ACT’s Level 1 Hairdressing and Barbering qualification is delivered within a salon setting and offers a variety of skills including basic techniques, assistance with colouring, and how to create the perfect up-do. Learners benefit from hands-on experience, working full time in a placement which then leads to an apprenticeship. 

One learner who is benefitting from the support offered and skills learned from the programme is Darla Wathen from Cardiff. 

Darla always had an interest in hair and found the qualification a great way to learn the skills she needs to progress in the industry, as well as build confidence in a salon setting. 

Her placement is at local salon, Henderson & Co. She also receives support from ACT tutor Charlotte Sims. 

Darla said: “My favourite thing about the placement is that it doesn’t feel like I’m going to work at all – it’s like going back to my second family. I also love the advice different stylists give. Every day I learn and grow.” 

As well as skills and techniques, Darla has also seen a great improvement in her confidence. 

She added: “The support I’ve had from my tutors at ACT has been absolutely amazing. I came to ACT thinking I wouldn’t do anything with my life, but Charlotte helped me and made me believe in myself. 

“I was a very anxious individual and was so nervous to go to interviews, but Charlotte made me be the best version of myself. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be where I am now.” 

Darla is now looking ahead to becoming a fully qualified hairdresser and wants to continue sharing her love of hair with clients. 

Tutor Charlotte Sims said: “Darla started at ACT on the JGW+ programme with a lot of potential but not much confidence in herself. Darla had a few issues settling in, but once she became familiar with the centre and the staff she showed herself to be an excellent learner. 

“Darla has always given 100% effort in any tasks we ask her to take part in, and we knew she would be an asset to the right salon, as she was clearly a natural hairdresser from day one. 

“We found Henderson & Co and after speaking to salon owner Kellie we knew Darla would be given an incredible opportunity by attending a placement there. 

“The salon has taken her under its wing, supported her through all her training and really value her contribution to the business.  

“Darla is progressing through her Level 1 NVQ fantastically, and all staff are so proud of her and pleased with how far she has come.  

“Darla has an excellent future ahead of her and we couldn’t be more excited for her.” 

ACT’s Mary Foley, who has worked with Darla as her course assessor, added: “When Darla started on programme she had a few barriers to overcome and had previously been let down by the education sector. Once she became familiar with the routine and staff at ACT she began to come out of her shell and showed she had great potential.   

“Darla was apprehensive to start in a salon placement as it was another step out of her comfort zone but that was the best thing she did as she has excelled since. Darla has demonstrated through determination, hard work and passion for the hair industry that these barriers are able to be overcome, this has also shown with the progress she has made with her NVQL1 Hairdressing qualification as she has completed it in six months!   

“Darla has been offered a Level 2 hairdressing apprenticeship at Henderson & Co. I’m so proud of Darla and all she has achieved with ACT, she is a wonderful asset to the salon and has a great career ahead of her.” 

If you are 16 to 19 years old and would like help finding your dream career, you can sign up to Jobs Growth Wales + any time here.