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Apprenticeship case study: Sydney Davies, Junior Stylist at Ashley Paul Hairdressing


Congratulations to Sydney Davies for passing her Level 2 Hair Professional Apprenticeship with Ashley Paul Hairdressing in Gloucester. Sydney started her apprenticeship with Gloucestershire College in September 2017 and was ready to complete her End Point Assessment when lockdown suddenly started, forcing the salon to temporarily close. On return to the salon in July, Sydney worked incredibly hard to get ready for her assessment in September, which she successful passed - even whilst wearing full PPE on one of the hottest days of the year!

We caught up with Sydney to hear all about her apprenticeship experience to give an insight into life as a hair apprentice with Gloucestershire College.

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

I chose to do an apprenticeship because you’re learning on the job. Because apprentices can get hands-on working with clients right away and gain customer service experience, I was able to get a real feel of how things work in a salon.

How did you find your apprenticeship and what was the application process like?

I spotted that Ashley Paul Hairdressing was advertising for an apprentice, so I got in touch straight away. I came in for a face-to-face interview and then had a trial day. The trial day was useful as I got to see how the salon worked and they got to see if I would be a good fit with the other team members.

Tell us about your role as an apprentice

At the start of my apprenticeship, I was supporting the stylists at the salon with shampooing, sweeping up and all the jobs which keep the salon running day to day. As time went on and my training progressed, I was able to get more hands-on with the clients providing colours, blow-dries and cuts. I learnt so much by being able to be hands-on with our clients. I now have my own clients and can offer them a wide variety of hair services. I would highly recommend doing an apprenticeship as the ‘on the job’ training is brilliant for your future career!

All apprentices at Gloucestershire College receive full support from their trainers and employers

Natalie Callaghan, Salon Manager at Ashley Paul Hairdressing has supported Sydney every step of the way through her apprenticeship.

“At Ashley Paul, we recruit apprentices to continue the development and growth of our business and to offer opportunities to local individuals who have a passion for hairdressing. Apprentices provide the foundation for our business. They support our established team members with new talent and they allow us to ‘home grow’ our team. We have worked with Gloucestershire College for many years now because they always provide a high level of training and support. I would absolutely recommend taking on apprentices as they are the future of our business. Apprentice bring young, energy and inspiration to our business. Apprenticeships enhance our team.”

Jill Churchfield, Assessor & Trainer at Gloucestershire College has worked with Sydney to develop her hairdressing skills, providing her with all the support to grow as a professional in the industry.

“Throughout Sydney's apprenticeship, she has shown determination in learning all aspects of hairdressing. Sydney's specialist skill is in colour work. From very early on in her apprenticeship, she assisted the senior stylists with their clients in the salon. Sydney has always worked extremely hard in both the Ashley Paul salon and during the practical sessions at the College. Her clients always love the colour transformations she creates!

"Gloucestershire College has been working with Ashley Paul Hairdressing for over 16 years now. Personally, I have trained a total of 12 apprentices with the salon!  We are proud to work with employers who want their apprentices to success in their chosen career, such as the brilliant team at Ashely Paul. Apprenticeships are so important for hair salons as they provide them with the next generation of talented stylists."

Apply to become an apprentice with Gloucestershire College

If Sydney's experience has inspired you to start a career in hair, you can apply for our Level 2 Hair Professional Apprenticeship programme online today. There's no need to wait for September, you can start any time throughout the year. 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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