To celebrate 30 years of ACT, we’re sharing the stories of our learners past and present. Firstly, we spoke to Traineeship learner Lucas Froud, who has been at ACT’s Cardiff Skills Academy for almost a year, working towards his Level 1 in Hairdressing.
Seventeen year-old Lucas started his A Levels but didn’t enjoy it so his attendance suffered and then he dropped out a few months later. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do next, but he knew a classroom environment wasn’t right for him.
“One day I was having my hair cut and I realised how much attention I was paying to what my barber was doing. I was mesmerised and decided I wanted to learn how to do what he was doing.”
Lucas applied to a college hairdressing course, but he had missed the September deadline so the course was already full.
That’s when Lucas found out about ACT. His friend who had just joined the Cardiff Skills Centre recommended it to him. He was able to start straight away on the Hairdressing Level 1 Traineeship at ACT’s Cardiff Skills Academy.
A Traineeship is a fantastic pre-Apprenticeship training programme that prepares 16-18 year olds for the world of work. They give learners like Lucas a helping hand progressing from education to the workplace.
“I like everything about ACT. Through my Traineeship, I’ve learnt lots of new skills such as how to section hair, mix colour and test hair elasticity. To start with I found sectioning really hard, but now I find it easy – thinking about it makes me realise how far I’ve come.
“I found there was a big difference between school and ACT. I found school overprotective, but here at ACT my independence is encouraged. I feel like I’m treated like an adult and it’s a more relaxed environment, which is great for me.
“My tutors have also given me lots of support, and I know I can speak to them about anything, especially Charlotte.”
ACT’s Traineeship programmes also enable learners to gain real work experience through a work placement so they can get work-ready and learn and earn at the same time.
“The placements give you a real experience of what it’s like to work in a salon. But before you get there, you can get used to the environment and scenarios within ACT. For example, you get familiar with all the different hairbrushes, products etc. so you know what you’re doing when you get to your placement.
“ACT is the best thing for me right now. I’m getting paid to learn and get experience of the working world at the same time.”
Lucas was also part of the lucky group of Hairdressing Traineeship learners who went on two weeks work experience in Helsinki in February with Erasmus+. Visiting a college and different salons throughout the trip, the learners spent time learning from trade experts at top hairdressers in the city.
“Going to Helsinki was an experience I’ll never forget. It was educational and eye-opening for me. It was amazing that we had the opportunity and funding to go, and that we were given warm clothes too, as the temperature dropped to -15˚c whilst we were there! It’s something that I wouldn’t have been able to do without ACT, and as a group we still talk about it now.”
Inspired by Lucas’ story? Think a Traineeship or Apprenticeship could be for you? We’re here to help. We have 12 Traineeship routes available in our centres across South and Mid Wales, and hundreds of Apprenticeship vacancies from top Welsh employers who are looking for bright young candidates like you. We have connections with over 1,100 employers and continue to help over 6,500 young Welsh people a year achieve their career ambitions. What are you waiting for, apply now.