An apprenticeship proves to be the best of both worlds for student with a passion for hairdressing

AN apprenticeship is proving to be the best of both worlds for a student with a passion for hairdressing.

Georgia Holliday is a level 3 apprentice at Darlington College who is also learning her craft in an award winning salon.

“I’m at college on a Monday and then spend four days at Trish Brown’s Hair Salon on West Auckland Road,” said the 22-year-old, of Darlington.

“It works really well for me. It’s nice to have a day out of the salon at college and have a student experience to learn and practise and prepare for our end point exams….then at work you feel like a hairdresser. we also have a training session on Tuesday evenings at work which covers all hairdressing services including new cutting and colour techniques.”

Georgia’s love of hairdressing stems back to childhood but she originally went to a college to study beauty therapy, at which point she realised her passion was for hair.

In 2017 she applied for an apprenticeship at the salon and has already completed a level 2 qualification.

“All of my friends and family often say can I just pop round when they have weddings to attend or they are going out, which keeps me busy,” said Georgia whose dream it is one day to run her own salon.

“When you are really young you don’t know what to do but, as soon as I started hairdressing, I knew it was for me and very kindly people started telling me that I had a natural talent for it. The nice thing about the apprenticeship is that you earn as you learn your trade so for me it is the best route.”

Like all salons the impact of COVID was immense, though Georgia made the most of the lockdown break.

“We were closed from March to July and then open just for the month of November in 2020; then last year we closed again from December to April,” recalled Georgia.

“I received messages during the lockdown from people desperate to have their hair done but of course I wasn’t able to help. While no practical work could be done on clients, tasks were set to be practised on mannequin heads, or family members where possible.

“Theory sessions were taught on line, as well as 1-1 catch up and support. So we made the most of a difficult job and got through it. But it’s really nice to get back to the salon where there is a lovely buzz and we are really busy.

“I’m now considering level 4 but I’m also interested in the business side of hairdressing. I would definitely recommend the apprenticeship route as the one to go down. My tutor Carol Cooke is amazing and knows such a lot about the industry. It’s the best of both worlds as you learn in college and you learn in the salon.”

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