Four Distinctions for Skills Group Hairdressing apprentices

Maryke Butler, Grace Long, Lee Sowden and Kirsty Wood all achieved a Distinction in their hairdressing apprenticeships; the highest grade learners can achieve under the Apprenticeship Standard.

The group underwent the Standard’s End Point Assessment, which is designed to test the key knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to succeed in the industry. The Standard and End Point Assessment will gradually replace Frameworks across all apprenticeship industries, aiming to provide a more practical and thorough foundation to the profession.

The apprentices had to complete a colour, a re-style cut and a hair up as the practical element of the rigorous assessment.

Maryke Butler who completed her Level 2 Hairdressing apprenticeship at Utopia Creative Hair in Sidmouth, comments, “I’m thrilled to have achieved a Distinction. The result has boosted my confidence and I’m looking forward to now progressing onto my Level 3 qualification and growing my client base. I want to say a huge thank you to the team at Utopia and at Skills Group; everyone has been very supportive and believed in me every step of the way.” Shirley Sargent, Owner of Utopia Creative Hair, comments, “Maryke has done brilliantly, and the result is testament to her hard work and dedication. All of the team at the salon is very proud of Maryke and we are delighted to now support her through her Level 3; we don’t want to let her go!”

Grace Long completed her Level 2 Hairdressing apprenticeship at Mckinley Martyn in Torquay. Grace comments, “I was so shocked but also really pleased to achieve a Distinction. I’m now moving onto my Level 3 qualification, and want to keep pushing myself to be the best hairdresser I can be and grow my client base. Thank you to Mckinley Martyn and Skills Group for supporting me!” Karen Mckinley, Owner of Mckinley Martyn, says, “Grace should be very proud of herself for such a fantastic achievement. As the end point assessment is still new, it is very tough to be one of the first apprentices to go through it. Grace worked very hard and made sure she properly prepared for the assessment and it paid off. We are looking forward to supporting Grace through her Level 3 – congratulations!”

Lee Sowden, who achieved his Level 2 Hairdressing apprenticeship at Amanda Marsden in Totnes, comments, “I’m very proud of myself for achieving a Distinction after working hard at developing my hairdressing skills. The result will help my career going forward; my end goal is to travel the world through hairdressing. Thank you to everyone for the support!” Ellie Marsden, Manager at Amanda Marsden, says, “Lee has shown constant commitment and motivation throughout his training and all of his hard work has definitely paid off. He is growing every day as he runs his own column in the salon. We look forward to seeing him progress in the industry. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to Chloe, our in-house educator, for supporting Lee every step of the way. Chloe has worked for Amanda Marsden’s for 8 years and prides herself on being a great role model when our assistants qualify to the shop floor.”

Kirsty Wood, completed her Level 2 Hairdressing apprenticeship at Renowned Salon. Kirsty says, “I’m so happy to achieve a Distinction. I worked really hard and it feels rewarding to have my efforts recognised. I’m looking forward to progressing through the industry”. Vanessa Williamson, Hairdressing and Barbering Trainer/ Assessor at Skills Group, comments, “Kirsty worked well throughout her qualification and was always ahead of her targets. After a lot of perseverance, she got herself ready for the end point assessment, and her hard work has really paid off! Well done Kirsty!”

Helen Morrish, Hairdressing Team Leader at Skills Group, comments, “Congratulations to Maryke, Grace, Lee and Kirsty for all their hard work and fantastic achievements. Their results are testament to the fact that our apprenticeships provide a fantastic platform to kick start a career, with the opportunity to work with top local employers and train in our state-of-the-art facilities. Congratulations also to the employers and our staff who have worked hard to support them. We look forward to hearing about Maryke’s, Grace’s, Lee’s and Kirsty’s next successes as they move forward in the profession!”

Pictured Left to Right: Helen Morrish with Maryke Butler and Shirley Sargent; Helen Morrish with Grace Long and Karen McKinley; Ellie Marsden with Lee Sowden, Chloe Uglow and Helen Morrish; and Kirsty Wood with Vanessa Williamson

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