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Hairdressing apprentice shortlisted in national competition

22 March 2021 | College News

A Plymouth hairdressing apprentice has said she is thrilled to be named as a finalist in a national competition for emerging hair professionals. 

Katie Butson, a second year apprentice who works at Plymstock hair salon Cox and Co and receives her off-the-job training at City College Plymouth, has been named a finalist in the Concept Hair Learner of the Year competition. Katie has been shortlisted in two categories: Level 2 Styling, and All Levels Colouring. Having made it through the first round, Katie will now battle it out against 150 other trainees to reach the grand final. 

Concept Hair, the UK’s only magazine for hairdressing and barbering students and apprentices, aims to give the next generation of hair professionals the opportunity to promote and develop the skills through this award, which is judged by industry experts. The magazine received more than 1,000 entries into the competition, with Katie now tasked with creating a new look and vision board in the hope of being able to represent both her employer and the College at the grand final.  

Katie, who will find out whether she has won in April, said: “I was quite shocked to be shortlisted, but I am really pleased to have reached this stage. It is a massive confidence boost for me. I have always struggled with confidence and I have never believed in myself. It has definitely given me the incentive to enter more competitions in the future.”

For the Level 2 Styling category, Katie was tasked with creating a “festival look”, which she first created whilst performing on stage at Salon International 2019, which had been inspired by her manager, whilst her entry for the colour category was something she had developed at the salon. 

City College Plymouth works as closely as possible with employers to support both them and their apprentices, ensuring apprentices receive the right training to assist them in their employment. 

Charmaine Cox, owner of Cox and Co, said: “Katie really is an amazing asset to my team. She has worked so hard and has progressed so quickly, and she has shown commitment and determination from the very start of her career. 

“Katie has been a pleasure to teach as she has always strived to achieve the best she can, sometimes doubting her skills. Her work ethic and determination is exceptional and her creative ability, her kindness and social ability with clients and other team members is fabulous. She is definitely my Learner of the Year and, as a team, we are all really proud of her.”
Katie added: “I have loved my Apprenticeship so much. It has given me so many opportunities. To be given the chance to perform on stage at Salon International in London is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. City College has been absolutely amazing, teaching me all the theory I need for my Level 2 Hair Professionals and my salon, Cox and Co Salon, has taught me my practical skills. I plan to start another course in September to expand my knowledge and learn new things.”

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