Apprentices first in Plymouth to pass Hair and Barbering End Point Assessment

Abigail Foster, Olivia Bolt, and Chloe Webber are the first apprentices in the Plymouth area to pass the End Point Assessment for the Hair Professional Standard with examining body, City and Guilds.

The learners were the first to go through the new assessment process as part of the apprenticeship reforms that are being rolled out nationally. All three have completed their apprenticeships through training provider Skills Group whilst working with top local employers. Abigail achieved her Barbering Standard at Revelations Hair Studio in Ivybridge, Olivia completed her Hairdressing Standard at Rapture Hair and Beauty, Plymouth, and Chloe finished the Hairdressing Standard at Daroma Hair and Beauty in Newton Abbot.

The new Standard that includes End Point Assessment (EPA) replaces Apprenticeship Frameworks, aiming to provide a more thorough and practical foundation to the trade. The new Standard was designed by employers for employers and so focus on equipping learners with the essential skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to flourish in the industry. As a result, the new assessment process is very rigorous. For barbering, Abigail had a maximum of three hours to cut two barbering looks, provide two facial hair cuts and deliver a full shaving service. For the hairdressing, Olivia and Chloe had up to six hours to perform a creative restyle and finish, as well as create two finished looks incorporating a variety of techniques. City and Guilds has confirmed that the learners were the first in Plymouth to undergo the new EPA.

Kirsty Stacey, Director at Daroma Hair and Beauty, says, “We are very proud of Chloe, she has so much talent and we are looking forward to working with her going forward”. Chloe meanwhile comments, “I’m excited to grow my client base now that I have completed my qualification”.

Donna Ryder, Salon Manager at Revelations Hair Studio, says “Abi has shown incredible drive to achieve her goals. I’m really proud of Abi for achieving her qualification through the new assessment process”.

Dawn Chapple, Owner of Rapture Hair and Beauty, comments, “Olivia has been an exceptional apprentice from start to finish. She has always been keen to learn and has a natural ability with hair. Her attention to detail is phenomenal. It has been a privilege to help her along her journey into a stylist of her own right”.

Sharon Chaffe, Managing Director at Skills Group, comments “We are extremely proud of the apprentices for their achievements. All their hard work and training has paid off. The EPA is a brand new, gruelling assessment and the fact that we are the first in Plymouth to have apprentices pass at their first attempt is testament to our dedicated trainers and state-of-the-art facilities, as well as to the top local employers whom we have long-standing relationships with. Apprenticeships provide a fantastic foundation to launch a career, and all three apprentices will be continuing as employees at their salons”.

I just wanted to say the biggest thank you to Vanessa, my trainer. You have made my journey so much easier, I don’t know what I would have done without you. You have been amazing and helped me to achieve my qualification. You’ve guided me through every step of the way, I really appreciate it, Vanessa, you have been my rock.

Katie Shorland, Level 2 Hairdressing

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School