Coleg y Cymoedd learners dream ‘evolves’

Two learners from Rhondda Cynon Taff have made it through to the final of a UK-wide skills competition where they will demonstrate their passion for hairdressing at the nation’s largest skills event.

Bethan Walters and Ashleigh Simmons, both learners at Coleg y Cymoedd, achieved first and third place respectively at the Welsh regional finals held at Coleg Sir Gar in Carmarthenshire, earning them a place amongst 15 others from across the UK to go through to the WorldSkills UK Final which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham next month.

Having safely secured their place in the final from over 1000 initial entrants, both girls are now in the process of preparing for the three day competition, organised by L’Oréal Professional Product.

The competition will involve three stages over three days, including completing both female and male styles, standard of cut, colour and finish and replicating a style from a photo, to ensure they possess the main skills of a qualified hairdresser.

If placed in the top three, the girls will earn themselves a place representing the UK at WorldSkills in Abu Dhabi, 2017.

Bethan, 19 from Taffs Well, spoke of the upcoming event, “I couldn’t believe it when I found out I got first place at the regional finals, I almost didn’t believe it when the judge said my name! I am really nervous about the finals in November but I have been practising a lot with my tutor Ann Hopkin to prepare myself.”

Ashleigh, 18 from Trelewis, who hopes to one day work as a hair stylist on cruise ships, said “I have taken part in five competitions before but nothing as big as WorldSkills. It’s a nerve wracking experience but I have had great support from my college tutor David Bassett.”

WorldSkills UK plays a key role in raising esteem of learners and inspiring young people to explore further education, skills and Apprenticeships.

Judith Evans, principal of Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “We’re extremely proud of Bethan and Ashleigh for achieving first and third position at the Welsh regional finals. They have the skills, dedication and confidence to seriously compete at this UK event and we wish them all the best at the forthcoming final.”

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