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Apprenticeship case study: Poppy Sharam, Apprentice at Laura Leigh Hair & Beauty


We would like to congratulate Poppy Sharam, Junior Stylist and Apprentice at Laura Leigh Hair & Beauty, who has been awarded a Distinction for her Level 2 Hair Professional Apprenticeship End Point Assessment. Only around 2% of apprentices in the country have gained a distinction for their End Point Assessment so this is an incredible achievement!

Despite the difficulties of lockdown, Poppy continued to work on developing her skills with family members along with the full support of her assessor at Gloucestershire College and her employer.

“Poppy has worked really hard over the last 2 years to achieve her qualification, and she is the first apprentice we have had to be awarded a distinction! We are so proud of her. I have enjoyed watching poppy progress into a professional talented hairdresser and I am really excited about Poppy’s future with us. She is a real asset to the team!” – Laura Leigh, Artistic Director at Laura Leigh Hair & Beauty.

Poppy’s dedication has shone throughout her apprenticeship, so we are delighted to share her experience to help inspire others to pursue an exciting career in hairdressing.

Hair Professional Apprenticeship

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

I choose to do an apprenticeship because I had a passion for hair and I wanted to gain more experience within a salon alongside training. Laura Leigh Hair & Beauty had so much to offer and a long line of awards, plus a successful business reputation. The apprenticeship application process was very efficient and positive. I had my interview and trial day in the space of one week, and started full time that Saturday!

Tell us a bit about your job role as an apprentice.

My role as an apprentice included many responsibilities such as general cleaning, providing good customer service and serving drinks to the clients. My role also included looking after clients at the hair spa and giving them the best hair wash experience. Alongside working, I was also training in my Level 2 and learning all the key fundamentals of being a hairdresser including styling, cutting, colouring, perming, customer service and consultation.

What did you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?

My favourite parts of my apprenticeship included working with our big team at Laura Leigh, working at weddings and different events with the salon, being trained to such a high standard by staff and how rewarding working for the salon is. I was given lots of amazing opportunities throughout my apprenticeship.

What are your goals for the future?

My apprenticeship has prepared me for the future by providing me with the skills to be a successful hairdresser, not only with the skill to do hair, but also to work in a positive environment and how to have the best customer service and people skills. My future goals are to complete my vardering, my Level 3 qualification, to complete a hair extension course and continue with wedding hair to grow that side of my hairdressing.

Would you recommend the apprenticeship programme to others?

Yes, I would recommend an apprenticeship because there is no better way to learn than on the job alongside the people who know how to do it best! As an apprentice, you are also getting paid to learn and gain the most possible experience when you are on the job. It also offers you lots of different opportunities and opens up many other doors for you to learn new skills.

All apprentices at Gloucestershire College receive full support from their trainers

“Poppy has been very focused on her goal to be the very best hairstylist from the start. She is a true perfectionist in all aspects of hair. Throughout her apprenticeship with Laura Leigh Hair & Beauty, she has shown a natural flair in long hair styling and colour work. Wherever possible, Poppy has completed additional manufacture training courses to widen her skills and knowledge especially during the months of lockdown.

“Poppy worked extremely well to ensure all the knowledge she has gained over her apprenticeship was maintained through lockdown. On return to the salon in July, she pushed hard to retain her practical and commercial skills in preparation for the apprenticeship End Point Assessment. 

“It was one of the hottest days of the year for Poppy’s End Point Assessment day. She worked extremely well under the additional pressure of wearing COVID-19 salon requirements, including both a mask and visor, during her final 6-hour practical exam. Poppy showcased her skills in varied colour techniques, restyle cutting, styling and finish, and long hair up dressing. This was followed by a professional discussion with the End Point Assessor.

“Poppy is now progressing on to the Level 3 Advanced Hair and Creative Professional Apprenticeship programme where she can learn more about advance colouring skills, straightening and smoothing systems to become a specialist in that area of expertise.” - Jill Churchfield, Assessor Trainer at Gloucestershire College.

Apply to become an apprentice with Gloucestershire College

If Poppy’s experience has inspired you to start a career in hair, you can apply for our Level 2 Hair Professional Apprenticeship programme online today. Click on the link below to apply online through our website or get in touch with our friendly apprenticeship team with any questions by emailing:

Apply online here: Hair Professional Apprenticeship – Level 2

Hire a Hair Apprentice for your business

If you’re an employer looking to recruit a Hair Apprentice for your business or upskill an existing member of staff through an apprenticeship, download the fact sheets below for more information, or contact our Business Hub team today via: or 01452 563400.

Download our fact sheets for more information: 

Hair Professional Apprenticeship – Level 2

Advanced Hair and Creative Professional Apprenticeship - Level 3



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