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Gor 2024 / Learners

A teenager who cut a place for herself in the hairdressing industry straight from school is set to fly high after life as a young apprentice gave her a new outlook on life.

Alisha Corria had never had a job when she approached her local salon, Charizma in Pontyclun, for work, just weeks after completing her GCSEs.

Now Alisha, 18, is on course to become assistant manager at the salon after regular visits to workshops and catwalk shows in London helped her true colours shine through.

Alisha, who lives with her mother in Tonyrefail, said: “I’ve always been hands on and could never see myself working in an office all day, so I came along to Charizma part-time initially so I could help wash hair and sweep up.

“Now I spend time training in London and I’m also on course to become assistant manager, which I hope will lead me to run my own salon one day.”

Alisha continued: “In the meantime I’m looking to complete my Level 3 apprenticeship in hairdressing by the end of this year, after which I will be a fully qualified hairdresser.

“Working straight from school has also made me a lot more confident and mature than I was before, and paying my own way with mum has been great for me too.”

Alisha’s studies have been supported by Wales’ largest training provider, ACT Training. ACT launched their “Training a Nation” campaign at the end of last of year.

The campaign aimed to highlight the range of traineeships and apprenticeship options available to the thousands of Welsh people not currently in employment, education or training. The campaign also aims to increase the number of businesses in Wales currently taking on apprentices.

Helen Button, who opened Charizma following a well-established career with various leading salons and brands, said Alisha’s success was testament to the hard work and tenacity she had shown since plucking up the courage to ask for a job there in the first place.

Helen said: “I can’t express enough how beneficial taking on Alisha as an apprentice has been.

“Achieving her apprenticeship qualifications is reliant on the commitment, dedication and practical application of the candidate themselves – all of which Alisha has consistently displayed, and in doing so significantly contributed to the successful running of my business.”

ACT is Wales’s largest training-provider. Established more than 25 years ago, it has centres across Wales and a range of training opportunities including Traineeships, Apprenticeships, Higher Apprenticeships and Essential Skills training in numeracy and literacy.

Managing director Andrew Cooksley said: “Having left school myself at the age of 15 without any qualifications I am all too aware how difficult negotiating the transition from full-time education in to the world of work can be, especially at a younger age.

“To hear such great success stories like that of Alisha’s, who spent just three weeks out of employment before finding work with Charizma, is a great delight to ACT Training staff who work hard to provide learners across Wales with the pathways they need to succeed.”