Apprentice Anya proves an “invaluable asset” to the hairdressing industry – FE News


Immediate: October 12, 2022

The recruitment of Anya O’Callaghan as Head of Marketing, Education and Business Development is paying dividends for award-winning hair salon Spirit Hair Team at Ystrad Mynach.

Anya, 25, who is preparing for a corporate social media apprenticeship run by training provider Educ8, was initially employed part-time to help run online training workshops with the company’s suppliers during Covid-19 pandemic closures.

An ‘invaluable asset’ to the company, his role is now full-time and has expanded to cover business development, apprenticeship recruitment, website development, social media marketing and making learning more accessible to apprentices with additional learning needs.

In recognition of her impact on the business, Anya has been shortlisted for the Tomorrow’s Talent Award at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022. The winners will be announced during a virtual awards ceremony on November 10.

The awards recognize outstanding achievements, in unprecedented times, by employers, apprentices and practitioners of work-based learning.

The highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and workplace learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organized by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation of Wales (NTfW). The main sponsor for the third year is Openreach.

Spirit Hair Team owner Janine O’Callaghan is delighted with the work of her daughter Anya who she says is expected to boost the company’s turnover by 12% this year.

“Anya has done far more than I could have expected to grow my business,” said Janine, who received a Covid recovery grant from the Welsh government to help employ her, as well as another apprentice. “She found new business opportunities for us and introduced new hairdressing and online services, which ensured our future sustainability.

“She is very driven, creative and full of ideas on how we can grow our business. After the lockdown, I realized we were going back to a completely different industry that had moved online.

“Today more than ever, apprentices are essential to ensure the future of our company. I was forced to rethink my business, recognizing that we had weaknesses in our marketing strategy and how we recruited new apprentices and talent. »

Janine, who owns both Spirit Hair Team and Outpost Barbers, has employed 55 apprentices over the years and currently has six working on hairdressing and barbering apprenticeships with ISA Training, part of the Educ8 group.

Anya has linked up with Careers Wales and local schools to run work placements which Janine hopes will turn into apprenticeships.

Having additional learning needs herself has allowed Anya to use her personal experience to make learning more accessible to dyslexic and dyspraxic learners.

She now trains hairstyling learners on the Level 1 curriculum, which she is redesigning to improve hands-on learning methods. “I want to help people who are coming into the industry,” Anya added.

Ann Nicholas, Client Account Manager at Educ8, describes Anya as “the perfect example” of an apprentice who used her skills, knowledge, initiative and personal experience to improve training in her workplace for the benefit of other apprentices.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated Anya and all the other shortlisted finalists. “Apprenticeships make a huge contribution to our economy and will be crucial as Wales continues to recover from the pandemic,” he said.

“They can help sustain, motivate and diversify a workforce, providing people with the opportunity to learn high-quality job skills.

“As part of our Youth Guarantee, the Welsh Government will invest £366m over the next three years to deliver 125,000 apprenticeships for all ages across Wales during the current government term.

“We want to increase opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to develop transferable skills in the workplace and improve their lives. The investment will also help address skills shortages and gaps in priority sectors critical to boosting productivity and economic growth, supporting our net zero ambitions, everyday core economy and public services.

The apprenticeship program is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund. For more information on recruiting an apprentice, visit: or call 03000 603000.

Image caption:

Anya O’Callaghan, an “invaluable asset”.

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