ISA apprentice Sophie Hendy has proved she’s a cut above the rest when it comes to skills competitions and dedication to her career.
The talented 21-year-old from Llandudno is one of the star learners shortlisted for this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. She will be competing to become Foundation Apprentice of the Year at the prestigious awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on October 20.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the outstanding achievements of learners, employers, tutors and assessors who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships and Apprenticeship programmes.
Sophie works for Tommy’s Hair Company in Llandudno and has achieved Foundation Apprenticeships in Hairdressing and Barbering, she is nearing completion of an Apprenticeship in Hairdressing and hopes to progress to a Higher Apprenticeship.
She has excelled in skills competitions, reaching the final of the WorldSkills UK hairdressing competition last year, where she won the Sue Bleasdale Memorial Award for teamwork, empathy and kindness to others.
This year, she secured a gold award at Skills Competition Wales, won the WorldSkills UK competition regional heat in Belfast and has qualified for the final at the Skills Show in November.
Dedicated to perfecting her skills, Sophie converted a spare bedroom at home into a practice salon and made a regular eight-hour round trip for training sessions with a mentor.
She said: “The fact that I was able to complete both a hairdressing and a barbering qualification really put me in a great position to enter WorldSkills UK and get to the final which is the pinnacle of excellence in my profession.”
Praising the standard of applicants this year and congratulating Sophie on being shortlisted for an award, Skills and Science Minister, Julie James said: “This year’s shortlisted entrants include exceptional individuals who have excelled in their workplace and learning providers and employers that have gone the extra mile to support the apprentices they are working with. Their stories never cease to amaze and inspire.
“Apprenticeships and vocational skills training are essential ingredients of economic success and vital tools in building a stronger, fairer and more equal Wales.
“These awards provide a perfect platform to celebrate success and reward the hard work and dedication of learners, employers and training providers across Wales. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the night.”