Two hairdressing apprentices from Caerphilly and Ystrad Mynach are preparing for a work experience opportunity of a lifetime.
Hannah Voisey, 21, from Cracked Actors, Caerphilly and Luca Sparey, 19, from Spirit Hair Team, Ystrad Mynach, will fly out to Cyprus on April 9 where they will divide their 16-day visit between working in Cypriot salons and attending cutting, hair up and colouring workshops at The Hair and Beauty Academy in Paphos.
To prepare them for the experience they have been taking Greek lessons to help them converse with their hosts.
It’s the most ambitious work experience placement to date arranged by award-winning ISA Training, based in Bridgend, who are the largest independent hair and beauty training provider in Wales.
A total of 15 apprentices from South Wales and Gloucestershire and two staff members are involved in the visit, which is being arranged as part of the company’s Oyster Project, which is based on the saying ‘The world is your oyster’. The project aims to enhance the learning experience of apprentices, increase their confidence and broaden their career horizons.
Funding support is being provided by Erasmus+, the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport, which offers exciting opportunities for UK leaners to study, work, volunteer, teach and train abroad in Europe.
ISA Training, which has arranged previous visits to Spain, Cyprus, Poland, Turkey and New York, is now seeking funding support for future trips to Spain, London and Finland. Last year, the company welcomed learners from Poland, Spain and Turkey as part of an exchange programme.
“This is the biggest work experience project we have organised to date,” said Clare Jeffries, head of apprenticeships at ISA Training. “We were successful at bidding for funding from Erasmus Plus to take 15 learners and two members of staff to Paphos for 16 days.
“The learners will really be able to immerse themselves in the Cypriot way of hairdressing and training and, on returning to their salons, will be able to impart what they have learnt to their colleagues.”
As well as working and learning, the apprentices will also enjoy cultural trips including a visit to the Tombs of the Kings.
Luca, who lives in Nelson, is working towards a Foundation Apprenticeship in hairdressing. “I was over the moon when they told me I had a place on the visit to Cyprus,” he said. “I love hairdressing and want to keep pushing myself.
“I am looking forward to working with the Cypriots, learning about their culture, being able to show my skills and sharing what I learn with other people in the salon when I return. My ultimate ambition is to open my own salon in the future.”
Hannah, who lives in Cardiff and has recently completed her Apprenticeship in hairdressing, said: “I am looking forward to working in a Cypriot salon to see how they do things and also attending academy where I hope to learn new techniques.
“Eventually, I would like to own my own salon and be a successful hairdresser.”
The other apprentices selected for the Cyprus visit are Harriet Young, from Jazz, Magor, Abbie May, from Friends, Newport, Bethan Williams from Lazarou, Churchill Way, Cardiff, Sian Charlton from YUME, Cardiff, Kirsty Lynn from Cutting Edge, Cardiff; Tiegan John and Joel Perrington from Ocean Hair, Llanishen, Danielle Bernard from Allen Sadler, Penarth, Chloe Woodland from Hairstop, Llantrisant, Zoe Keat from Nicholas White Hairdressing, Cheltenham, Georgia Davenport from Shades, Laleston, Chelsea Williams from Emily Elizabeth, Tonypandy and Harley Lewis from Ocean Hair, Saundersfoot.
They will be accompanied by ISA Training staff Cheryl Pearcey and Lisa Lee.