Lauren Rees, an apprentice from Spirit Hair Team in Blackwood, has been selected for an exciting work experience placement in Paphos, Cyprus for two weeks this summer starting May 31st.
The work placement has been arranged by Bridgend based ISA Training, the largest independent hair and beauty training provider in Wales, in partnership with Discovery Training in Cyprus. The two training providers signed a pioneering international partnership last year to deliver hairdressing and beauty qualifications in Cyprus. ISA Training provides verification and support for City & Guilds apprenticeships in hairdressing and beauty which is delivered by Discovery Training’s three training centres.
The Cyprus project follows last year's success of a pioneering two week work experience visit in Tarragona in Spain by ten ISA Training learners. Mobility project funding has been secured from the Leonardo Programme, part of the European Commissions’ Lifelong Learning Programme.
The project aims to enhance the learning experience of apprentices, increase their confidence and broaden their career horizons. Lauren, along with her ten fellow learners and assessors who will be joining her on the trip to Paphos, have all begun Greek lessons to help them fit in quickly with the salons where they will be working. Lauren, who began her apprenticeship in 2012, said,
I always like to learn and try new things, to travel and visit new countries and thought this would be an excellent experience and opportunity. I am looking forward to experiencing the salons in Cyprus and seeing exactly how they work and what techniques they use.
ISA Training’s Managing Director Berni Tyler thanked the owners of all the salons in Wales and Gloucestershire for agreeing to release their apprentices for two weeks in June. Berni said,
We had such a high calibre of applicants that we could easily have selected 25 for the Cyprus visit. Because the learners will be working in salons that are typically Greek, they are now learning the language so that they can settle in quickly.
Last year’s pioneering visit to Tarragona was the culmination of four years work by ISA Training’s Chair Shirley Davis-Fox and her team. The Cyprus visit will mark the completion of the next phase of ISA Training’s Oyster Project, which is based on the saying ‘The world is your oyster’.
Next in the pipeline is a Health and Beauty Europe project, again supported by the Leonardo Programme. The project will involve short exchanges of four health and beauty apprentices and three staff members with colleges in Spain, Poland and Turkey.
Institut Cal Lipolis in Tarragona wrote the bid for the exchange project and invited ISA Training to become partners. Links between the two organisations were first established in 2012 when ISA Training first began organising the work experience placements. Mrs Davis Fox, a member of the Hairdressing Council said,
We now live in a global age and we need to provide exciting learning opportunities for our work based learners. We have much to learn from other countries and they can also learn from us.
We want to enhance the learning experience and inspire our learners to realise that hairdressing and beauty therapy are professions that can grant them a passport to travel the world.