Talented trainees show off their handy work

Talented apprentices were full of flare and creativity in a competition to showcase their skills as hairdressers and barbers.

More than 70 Skills Group apprentices, representing salons from across the region, took part in the event held at the Holiday Inn in Plymouth on September 7 and the Rougemont Hotel in Exeter on September 14.

The youngsters battled it out in three categories: Pure and Simple in blow drying, setting and finishing for novices, Pomp and Ceremony for intermediates who have been in training for a year and Let’s Party for those who have achieved their Level 2 in hairdressing or barbering. Each group had thirty minutes on the stage to style their model in their interpretation of their category theme.

A panel of judges awarded points for hairdressing skills, creative interpretation and overall look, with the winning students receiving trophies, a certificate and prizes from the competition sponsor, Phab Wholesale. All entrants received a certificate for taking part.

In the Plymouth competition, Lara Donnelly of Arena took the crown in the novice category, with Tyler Morgan of The Cutting Company in second place and Jess Tucker of The Cutting Garden in third. In the intermediate category, Ellie Kittle of Envy was first, Tiffany Kent of Salon @ No 6 second, and Danni Russel of Style Rite & Design third. Brooke Wheeler of Experience Utopia won the title in the advance section with Tas Gribbins of Vogue second and Janine Semmens of Maiya’s third.

The winners in Exeter were: Danielle Sendra of Amanda Marsden in the novice category with Chloe Dickison of McKinley Martin in second and Beth Southard of Hair @ One in third. In the intermediate category, Sophie Tregale of Amanda Marsden was first, Ellie Temple of Hair Temple second, and Chelsea Beale of Viva in third. Ode Hadland of Kaboodles won the title in the advance section with Zack Tovey of Amanda Marsden in second and Georgina Evans of Hair Boutique coming third.

Now in its second year, the competition aims to enable the apprentices to showcase the skills and techniques they’ve developed during their time as trainees, in front of an audience of friends, family and the salons they are employed by.

June Gibbings, hairdressing team leader with Skills Group, said: “The hair competitions give all our apprentices the opportunity to showcase the skills they have developed, and compete against each other. Many of our employers have commented that it is good to see the techniques being demonstrated rather than simply parading the final style.

“The standard of work was really high this year and there were lots of different interpretations of the themes. I was particularly impressed with all our Novice entrants – some of whom have only been with their employers for a few weeks.

“Congratulations to all of the entrants, and a huge thank you to their employers, who have encouraged the apprentices to rise to the challenge and supported them to do so.”

The event was sponsored by Phab Wholesale, who provide the Milk Shake hair products for Skills Group’s training salons in Plymouth, Newton Abbot and Exeter.

Grant Northover, managing director of Phab Wholesale, said: “It was a real pleasure to sponsor Skill Group’s annual hair competition. It is very exciting to see the next generation of hairdressers and barbers demonstrating their skills, especially when they are competing and working against the clock. Skills Group always puts on a great event that showcases both the apprentices and the local salons.”

To view all of the photographs taken at each show please visit our galleries on Facebook:



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Skills Group has over 20 years’ experience in delivering apprenticeships, working with top local employers to offer sustainable employment opportunities. We are one of the country's largest independent training providers, one of very few to be recognised as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted, and in the top 5% nationally for our apprentice success rates.


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