A Coleg y Cymoedd alumni from Trelewis has made it through to the final of a UK-wide skills competition for the second year running. She will once again demonstrate her passion for hairdressing at the nationâ€™s largest skills event.
Ashleigh Simmons, a previous learner at the Nantgarw campus, achieved first place at the Welsh regional finals, earning herself a place amongst 30 others from across the UK to go through to the WorldSkills UK Final which is being held in Birmingham.
Ashleigh also represented the college as a student last year at the World Skills finals, gaining third place in the national final.
Having safely secured her place in the final for a second time from over 1000 initial entrants, Ashleigh is now in the process of preparing for the four day competition, organised by Lâ€™OrÃ©al Professional Product.
The competition will involve three stages over four days, with learners demonstrating competencies including including ladies cut and colour following a picture, gents modern cut colour and patterning, gents long hair styling, bridal style and ladies day style on long hair to ensure they possess the main skills of a qualified hairdresser.
The winner will be announced at an awards evening at the end of the fourth day. If placed in the top three, Ashleigh will earn herself a place representing the UK at WorldSkills in Abu Dhabi in 2017.
Ashleigh, 19 from Trelewis, who hopes to one day work as a hair stylist on cruise ships, said â€œIt is fantastic to be taking part in WorldSkills for a second time, each stage of the competition has improved my confidence, taught me new skills and helped me adapt to a pressurised situation. It is always a nerve wracking experience but I have had great support from my college tutors, both when I was studying at the college and since I have completed my course.â€
WorldSkills UK plays a key role in raising esteem of learners and inspiring young people to explore further education, skills and Apprenticeships.
Tracey Evans, head of Hair and Beauty at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: â€œWeâ€™re extremely proud of Ashleigh for achieving such fantastic results at the Welsh regional finals for the second year in a row.
She has the talent, skills and dedication compete at this UK wide event where the calibre will be really high, and we wish her all the best at the final.â€
Rhondda Cynon Taff
Heol y Coleg
Rhondda Cynon Taff