Emily Cook, 18, was forced to find seasonal work in the retail sector despite completing various beauty focused training courses following on from her time at Aberdare Community School after struggling to find employment in her chosen discipline of hairdressing.
But following a call from Hair By Brett for an apprentice to join its busy salon in Quakers Yard, Emily is now working towards an apprenticeship in partnership with ACT Training and finally has a promising future in her chosen industry to look forward to.
Emily said: “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do but struggled to break into despite taking up several college courses to help me get an insight into the world of hairdressing once I finished school.
“I’d been working for one of the big retailers in a temporary positon when I saw the advert for the position with Hair By Brett and I’m just delighted to have finally made a break into my chosen career – something I was beginning to think would never happen.”
Emily is studying for a Hairdressing Level 2 qualification with Hair By Brett after ACT Training challenged local businesses to ‘think apprentice’ in 2017, and pledged in return to provide them with an ideal candidate in time for National Apprenticeship Week.
Running from March 6-10, National Apprenticeship Week 2017 brings together employers and apprentices from across England and Wales to celebrate the positive impact apprenticeships and traineeships continue to have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
In Hair By Brett’s case, this meant starting the year by advertising for an apprenticeship vacancy to be based at its busy Quaker’s Yard salon - a decision which has so far proved to be very positive indeed.
Brett Johnstone, salon owner, said: “I had another member of staff working with me who had to leave due to family commitments and it was really hard work without the extra pair of hands around the place.
“Finding Emily has been a real boost for the business and hiring apprentices in my experience has always worked really well, as you are able to pass on so much to them and support them to become an employee fit for your own business needs in the process – it’s a win-win all round.”
Established more than 28 years ago, ACT Training has centres in Aberdare, Barry, Blackwood, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Newport and Swansea and currently works with over 700 employers including British Gas, NatWest, Barclays, NHS Health Boards, Radisson Blu, Admiral and many more to place trainees in a wide variety of work-based roles.
As Wales’ leading training provider, the organisation decided to mark National Apprenticeship Week 2017 by calling on businesses in all sectors to come forward and discover more about the benefits apprenticeships can bring to both the business and individual involved as part of their very own ‘Apprenticeship Challenge’.
Andrew Cooksley, Managing Director at ACT Training, said: “The placement of Emily into a work environment she had long desired to experience, but had previously been unable to break into as a viable route for progression is exactly why the ACT Apprenticeship Challenge was devised.
“We wanted to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2017 by highlighting the benefits apprenticeships now offer across a wide range of fields to both individuals and businesses nationwide, particularly when it comes to further expansion, and it seems this couldn’t have played out better in real time in the case of Hair By Brett.”