HAIR and beauty students at Highbury College have been taking part in an international competition.
The WorldSkills regional heat took place at the college with the winning students having the opportunity to progress to the world finals in Shanghai. Participants had already completed a successful qualification round.
Hairdressing students faced three rounds of styling long hair, gents cut and creating their own hairstyle while beauty students were assessed on media make-up, mini facials and eyebrow and eyelash tinting.
Luke Myers, 30, who previously worked as a carpenter, won third place in the hairdressing competion and now has to wait and see if his score is enough to qualify for the national finals.
Luke said: ‘I always wanted to be a hair stylist but after leaving school my dad encouraged me to get a traditional trade. After working as a carpenter I decided to give hairdressing a go. It was great to get through to the regional final and now I’m hungry to make it through to the nationals. My brother has autism and in the future I would like to open a salon which caters for people with autism and similar conditions.’
Fellow Highbury student, Lucy Walker, 18, added: ‘It was really tense during the competition. I would like to work as a stylist on cruise ships.’
World Skills are an international organisation who provide career and development opportunities for young people via national and global competitions.
World Skills representative, Ruth Paton, said: ‘We run competitions in all areas of apprenticeship training. The judges are people from the industry and doing well in the competition can be massive for career progression.’
Staff at Highbury are hopeful their students can reach the finals.
Hair and beauty lecturer and team leader, Lyndsey McKenna, said: ‘We’re really proud of our students and confident some of them can progress to reach the national and even international finals. This competition can also help to open doors for career opportunities.’
The competition was sponsored by international cosmetics company, L'Oréal.
L'Oréal WorldSkills organising partner, Richard Howell, said: ‘From our perspective it’s good to be involved at the grass roots of the industry and the standard I have seen has been very high.’