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Bolton College hairdressing apprentices compete for national award

27 January 2021

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Two Bolton College hairdressing apprentices have reached the finals of a prestigious national competition.  

Caitlin Hesketh (pictured left), 21, and Ella Harper (pictured right), 19, wowed judges in the heats of Concept Hair magazine's Learner of the Year 2021 competition. Now, they face stiff competition from creative talents up and down the country for a chance to scoop the top spot.


Due to lockdown restrictions, this year’s competition has gone digital, with Caitlin and Ella required to submit their entries for Round 1 via photo. This involved creating a hair and make-up look on a model, with before and after pics.


For the finals, Caitlin and Ella will complete a red carpet look, detailed in a mood board. They will then bring the look to life with hair, make-up and an outfit.


This isn’t the first time Level 2 apprentice Caitlin has wowed judges – two years ago, she was named ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at the Bolton Business Awards.


Caitlin, who works at Mirror & Mane in Wigan, said: “Hairdressing is more than just a job for me, I’m forever trying out new looks and styles. I’m so pleased my hard work has paid off and I can’t wait for the finals!”


Level 2 apprentice Ella, who works at Scissor Sisters in Farnworth, said: "With the ups and downs of the past year, it’s been great having something to focus on during lockdown. I’ve got some really exciting ideas for the final!"


Both apprentices have also praised Bolton College, which is part of the University of Bolton Group, and their Work Based Tutor Michaela Roberts, for providing unfaltering support and encouragement.


Michaela, said: “We’ve always pushed our apprentices and students to enter competitions as we believe it brings out the very best in them. In previous years, we’ll travelled up and down the country so that our young people can take advantage of the opportunities out there.


“The past year has obviously been different, so we’ve found competitions that will still allow our apprentices to continue to compete and grow.


“This is a wonderful opportunity for Caitlin and Ella to be recognised for their true talent and craft. I am so proud of them - nothing can hold our apprentices back!”


The winner of the competition will be announced in April.


To learn more about our Hairdressing & Barbering Apprenticeships, click here.