English Cymraeg
English Cymraeg



Sophie Wins Gold at WorldSkills UK

ISA and Tommy’s Hair Company apprentice Sophie Hendy has been named the best hairdresser in the UK as she won the WorldSkills UK hairdressing competition at the weekend.

Following her win, Sophie from Llandudno revealed how she had to work through the pain barrier to achieve her dream of winning gold at the Skills Show, held at the NEC, Birmingham.

Sophie tripped and injured a hand in September, casting doubt whether she would be able to compete in the final. Doctors thought she may have fractured her hand requiring a cast, but after three weeks of rest, she opted to return to work early at Tommy’s Hair Company in Llandudno with her hand in a splint and work through the pain barrier.

Right up to Tuesday last week, she was unsure whether her hand would be strong enough to compete due to muscle wastage caused by the injury. However, after dedicating hundreds of hours to practising for the competition for the past year, she refused to give up.

“On the Thursday morning of the competition, my hand was swollen and really painful, but I put an icepack on it and did the competition,” said Sophie. “We had to do five different tasks over three days which involved quite a lot of thinking on my feet and using my creativity.”

“It all went very well and I was told afterwards that I had come first in three of the tests and second in the other two. The final was of such a high standard that I wasn’t expecting to win, especially as I hadn’t been able to practise as much as I had wanted.”

Sadly, Sophie is not able to qualify for the WorldSkills UK squad because she is three months too old. Nevertheless, she plans to help the Welsh hairdresser who has qualified for the squad. She will also continue competing in national hairdressing competitions and hopes to be invited to judge at future skills competitions.

“I want to promote the WorldSkills UK competition to other hairdressers in Wales because it’s an amazing experience, opens up so many doors and you get to meet so many interesting people from the industry,” she explained.

Last year, in the same competition, she won the Sue Bleasdale Memorial Award for teamwork, empathy and kindness to others.

Sophie praised the support she had received from the company, her employer and her mentor, Adrienne Chick.

“Considering the distance she has had to travel to support me, Adrienne has given me everything. Even the judges said I had improved so much since last year, which is down to her guidance,” added Sophie.

“ISA Training have been a huge help in giving me everything I needed for training and Tommy’s has given me time off work to compete and paid for my flight and hotel for the heat in Belfast.”

She said the gold medal was reward for all the hard work and dedication over the past two years. Her dedication included converting a spare bedroom at home into a practice salon and making a regular eight-hour round trip for training sessions with Adrienne.

The success has convinced her that she made the right decision to build a career with an apprenticeship rather than going to university.

“Apprenticeships are the way forward nowadays,” she added. “You can do an apprenticeship in any type of trade and I think it’s much better to learn practical skills working on the job and gain life skills from being around people who have years of experience.”

Last month, Sophie was Foundation Apprentice of the Year runner-up at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru final held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW).

Applications Open for Helsinki 2018

This Oyster Project 3 week work experience is for 2 Beauty learners to experience work in the city of Helsinki and Helsinki Vocational College.

DATE: 4th – 26th March inclusively (3 weeks!)

We will be running preparation workshops from December to March which will focus on language and culture.

Interested? Apply here by http://bit.ly/2yeLKN7
The closing date is Monday 30th October at 12 midday.

Interviews will take place on Monday 6th November and workshops will take place on:
1. 4/12/18
2. 29/1/18
3. 5/2/18
4. 12/2/18
5. 19/2/18
6. 26/2/18
7. 9/4/18 (Evaluation meeting)

We look forward to receiving your applications.

Good Luck!!

Sophie Hendy

Sophie Hendy Makes Apprenticeship Awards Final

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.”

Introducing A Brand New Oyster Experience

The Fellowship And I programme will give 5 apprentices the opportunity to work alongside Ken Picton and Errol Douglas in an exciting new oyster experience called LEARN FROM THE MASTER.

This will be exclusively for apprentices who are on a Level 3 Hairdressing programme, who already have great knowledge of cutting, colouring and hair up and are ready to personalise and hone their skills.

The day long workshop will be held in Ken Picton’s prestige Cardiff Bay salon and you will spend half a day with each ‘Master’
Following this, your work will be showcased in an exclusive evening event hosted by the Fellowship.

To be considered for this experience you must be on a Level 3 Programme and be able to attend an interview on 17th July.
The closing date for this opportunity will be 10/07/2017.
For more information please ask your TC or contact Simone Hawken on 07776 237 849.
Click here to apply http://bit.ly/2sxOEsL

Good Luck!!!


Errol Douglas demonstrating on stage

GOLD at UK Skills Regional Heat for Sophie

Level 3 apprentice Sophie Hendy from Tommy’s Hair Company, Llandudno won GOLD at the first World Skills UK Advanced Hairdressing Regional Heat in Belfast on 19th June.

The challenging day, which seeks to select the best hairdressers in the UK, consisted of three tests; a one hour dressing long hair, a one hour commercial men’s cut and a three hour high fashion cut and colour. 😊
We have to wait now until mid August when results are collated from all 5 Regional Heats to see if Sophie has made the top 8 in the UK to compete in the final of World Skills UK at The Skills Show in November. 
Well done Sophie, everyone at Tommy’s and ISA are all really proud of you.


Communities Defeat Terrorism

We have received an email from The Prevent Officer for Wales, which is copied below. If you do notice anything or would like to discuss anything, please feel free to contact us or call Action Counters Terrorism on 0800 789321

You will all be aware of last night’s attack outside Finsbury Park Mosque, which is being dealt with as a ‘potential terrorist attack’.

There will undoubtedly be real concerns and anxieties as a result – and the potential for divisions opening up to fracture the community cohesion we all seek to achieve.

You will be very much aware of the potential for this to happen. If you note adverse reactions in your community, I would ask you please notify our ISA Prevent Representative Sam Grove on 01656 869986, so that this assists in advising the national picture.

Salon International 2017

We have an exciting opportunity for our learners!

The Oyster project is giving an opportunity for 12 learners to attend Salon International on 16th October 2017

Follow the link to complete the application form and return it to us by Wednesday 28th June 2017

>> http://bit.ly/2rnhAn3

The interviews for this event will be held in the office on Monday 24th July 2017

Essential Skills Review – Learner Feedback Request

If you are an ISA learner in Wales and have completed or are working towards your new and revised Essential Skills Qualification, (Application of number, Communication and Digital Literacy) could you please help Qualifications Wales by completing their learner survey by the 26th May’17. They are keen to hear your views, as these qualifications are new and as such it is important to see how they are working in practice.
They will not ask for your name or that of your training provider, so if they quote from your answers in any published findings they will not attribute answers to individuals.
The questionnaire will be available from 24 April 2017 until 26 May 2017.
To complete the questionnaire, please click here >> https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Essentialskillslearnerfeedback
Thank you.

The Shirley Davis-Fox MBE Scholarship Returns

Following it’s great success last year we are delighted to announce that this much sought after scholarship is open again for 2017. One apprentice will be selected to travel to London in September or October to attend the 5 Day ABC Cutting course at Vidal Sassoon Academy Mayfair.

Jess Sayce from Hair by Jones who attended last year will be showcasing what she learnt at our Creative Workshop on 8th May at the Hair Centre in Pontypridd. If you are at the cutting stage of your apprenticeship and want to attend, please ask your TC to book you on.

To apply for this year’s scholarship you will need to be on a Level 3 programme with ISA and be able to attend an interview on 24th June 2017.

The closing date for this opportunity is 28th March 2017.

Please apply here: http://bit.ly/2lTFhjA

We look forward to receiving your applications.

Good luck

#Appweekcymru #isaoysterproject


Magnificent Seven Head for Spain

Seven of ISA’s hairdressing and beauty apprentices from across South Wales have been selected for a two-week work experience opportunity of a lifetime in Spain.

The lucky apprentices are Georgia Rice from Spirit Hair Team, Ystrad Mynach, Emily Morgan from Sunkissed Hair and Beauty, Tredegar, Amy Wensley from USTU, Porthcawl, Jadene Bennett from The Hair Den, Barry, Jess Sayce from Hair by Jones, Monmouth, Owen Grey from Todaros, Milford Haven and Roxanne White from Andrew Price, Lampeter.

The apprentices leave on March 12 and will spend 15 days in Tarragona working in salons, attending a workshop in the Schwarzkopf Academy in Barcelona and a hair-up workshop at the Institute Cal Lipolis, the college which is partnering with ISA Training for the visit.

In addition, there will be a programme of cultural visits for the apprentices, including a city tour by the Tarragona Land Train to take in the local sights.

Joining them on the visit will be Cheryl Pearcey, Partnership Manager and Katie Lee, Team Administrator, from ISA Training. The whole team has been receiving Spanish lessons since last December to make it easier to converse with their hosts in Tarragona.

Berni Tyler, ISA Training’s Managing Director, said: “The work placement is designed to show the apprentices the exciting career opportunities that exist in Spain and introduce them to the country’s culture.

“We want to enhance the learning experience and inspire our learners to realise that hairdressing and beauty therapy are professions that can grant them a passport to travel the world.”

The work placement has been arranged as part of ISA Training’s Oyster Project, which is based on the saying ‘The world is your oyster’. The project aims to enhance the learning experience of apprentices, increase their confidence and broaden their career horizons.



Changes to Apprenticeships in England

When will changes be made?

Changes to Hairdressing Apprenticeships will take effect from May 2017.


The Richard Review found that significant improvements could be made to all apprenticeships.
Trailblazers have been working on improving apprenticeships in England since October 2013. New apprenticeships, in all sectors, will be in place by 2020.
The aim was to:

  • Improve the quality of apprenticeships.
  • Allow employers to have more involvement.
  • Simplify the system.

What will the change look like?

New Apprenticeships will:

  • Be short, concise and clear to both employers and learners.
  • Set out the full competence needed in an occupation, so that, on completion the apprentice is able to carry out the role in any size of employer across the sector.
  • Be sufficiently stretching requiring at least a year of training, including off-the- job training, before end-point assessment.
  • Align with professional registration where it exists.
  • Contain minimal English & Maths.


How this will affect apprenticeships in my business?

To achieve a hair apprenticeship, learners must complete:

  • The Diploma for Hair Professionals (Hairdressing / Barbering) – a new qualification.
  • Maths & English Functional Skills at level 1.  Learners who have achieved Maths and English GCSE Grade A*-C are exempt from Functional Skills.
  • An end-point assessment carried out by an Independent Apprenticeship Examiner similar to a trade test. Apprentices will be graded as Pass or Distinction following completion of the above.


What about employers who don’t pay the levy?

Small employers (under 50 employees)  taking on 16-18 year olds, or 19-24 year olds in care or who have a local authority care plan will not pay anything towards the cost of apprenticeship. They will receive £1000 to support the        costs of training these groups. This is paid in two instalments: £500 after 3 months and the balance at 12 months.

For additional information please contact Simone Hawken on 07776 237849 or email Simone.Hawken@isatraining.co.uk


ISA Training will work with you and your apprentice to ensure that you are supported through this transition and you will be informed in a timely manner of when the new apprenticeship delivery will start.



Oyster Experience Just Released


Renowned session stylist Chris Long will deliver a Masterclass to demonstrate how to bring on trend catwalk hair to the high street salon.

Based in Gloucester, Chris can frequently be found in London, Paris and Milan working on high profile catwalk shows, one of his most recent shows was for Victoria’s Secret.

We are offering the opportunity for 6 learners to work alongside Chris for the day on Monday 27th March 2016 from 10:00am to 15:00pm.

The Masterclass will be held in Peter Hickman salon in Gloucester.

This opportunity is free for ISA Learners but you must apply by 24th February 2017. If your application is successful at the first stage, you will be contacted for a telephone interview.

Click here to apply: http://bit.ly/2jwIy7n

Good luck!

Sophie Wins Award at WorldSkills UK

ISA apprentice Sophie Hendy returned from the weekend’s WorldSkills UK finals in Birmingham with a special prize.

Although she did not win the hairdressing competition, she became the first recipient of an award presented in memory of Sue Bleasdale, a prominent World Skills Hairdressing judge who sadly passed away in October.

The judges said: “This award is presented to a competitor who presents the following qualities that Sue was passionate about: being part of a team, displaying empathy and kindness, qualities that will set the students up for life.”

Sophie, 20, who lives in West Shore, Llandudno and works for Tommy’s Hair Company in the town, was one of eight finalists in the hairdressing final, which comprised five different tests over three days at the Skills Show at the NEC.

“Whilst winning the competition would have been great, I was honoured to receive this special award which reflects on how I am as a person,” she said. “It was a good experience to push myself and be part of a team. It was also nice to have the support of each other because all the finalists got on really well.

“I went into the competition not expecting to win because I had not done anything like that before. I wanted to go and have fun, get feedback from the judges and improve. The judges said my work was good but needed a few tweaks. They liked my colours and encouraged me to enter the L’Oréal Rising Star competition next year.

“I’m going to enter as many competitions as I can because I love being creative. I would love to get to the WorldSkills UK final again next year.”

Sophie, who thanked Tommy’s Hair Company, ISA Training, her family and friends for their support, had been practising non-stop since qualifying for the final. As she and her boyfriend, Andrew Wynne-Jones, are in the process of converting a spare bedroom in their home into a living room, she decided to put it to good use in the meantime as a practise salon complete with a stand for her dolls heads and hair products. Weekends were taken up with more practise sessions with training mentor Adrienne Chick in Llanelli.

“We are absolutely thrilled that one of our apprentices has become the first winner of the Sue Bleasdale Memorial Award,” said Berni Tyler, ISA Training’s managing director. “We have always known that Sophie has all of the qualities associated with the award and are delighted that the judges have recognised this too.”

Jane Hughes, training manager at Tommy’s Hair Company, congratulated Sophie on her success. “She’s really dedicated to her training, very creative and good at promoting the services we offer at Tommy’s Hair Company,” she said. “Everyone at the salon is delighted by her success.”














Apprenticeship Award Finalist Ken Picton Salon

Ken Picton Salon in Cardiff Bay has worked with ISA Training to deliver its apprenticeship programme for the past nine years, it is one of the most sought after hairdressing and barbering salons in Wales.

In 2003, Ken Picton’s then training provider pulled out of delivering in Wales and the salon business decided to set up as a City & Guilds training centre, becoming accredited a year later.

Over the past five years, it has employed 23 apprentices and currently has nine with a further three starting at the business. The company provides Foundation Apprenticeships in Hairdressing, Barbering, Customer Service and Team Leading and Apprenticeships in Hairdressing, Barbering and Management.

This investment in training and developing staff has resulted in the company being shortlisted for the Small Employer of the Year award at this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which takes place at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on October 20.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the prestigious awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals, employers and learning providers who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships, Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeship programmes.

“We have always focused on training within our salon to provide unique, high quality learning for our apprentices with the objective of providing career progression,” said Natalie Hinton, Ken Picton Salon’s general manager. “By taking charge of our own training we were able to ensure apprentices were fully prepared and equipped for the salon environment, receiving a mixture of on the job salon experience and dedicated learning support.”

The salon believes its success lies in its apprentices. It welcomes 25,000 clients a year – 500 a week – and has a client retention rate of 95 per cent.

“Our apprenticeship programme is integral to our growth,” added Natalie.

The salon also runs school work experience programmes, taking on five pupils every year, most of whom return as apprentices.

Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science Julie James congratulated Ken Picton Salon and the other 32 shortlisted award finalists. “We are proud to be delivering one of the most successful apprenticeship programmes in Europe with success rates in Wales remaining well above 80 per cent,” she said.

“Developing skilled people is vital for our economy. We have some truly exceptional apprentices here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements. Equally important are the learning providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices.”


09.08.16 mh Ken Picton Apprenticeship Awards 4_web

Hairdressing Recognised as a Profession by HMRC

Qualified hairdressers and barbers working the industry across the UK are celebrating the news that they can now claim tax relief on their State Registration fees paid to the Hair Council.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has recognised the hair industry as a profession and agreed to add the Hair Council to the Government’s list of professional bodies approved for tax relief.

The landmark decision has been described by the Hair Council as another major step forward in gaining professional recognition for the industry. In the past, the Hair Council’s State Registration fees paid by hairdressing and barbering salon owners were considered a taxable benefit and they had to pay extra National Insurance on top.

Now, due to the change, the fees are an allowable expense which can be used to reduce profits and thus reduce corporation tax. Hairdressers or barbers who pay the fee themselves can now claim income tax relief on the cost.

“The Hair and Barber Councils are delighted that the HMRC has accepted our position relating to income tax relief in respect to annual subscriptions,” said Mrs Davis-Fox. “This decision enforces the council’s determination to get the hair and barbering industry professionally recognised and to continue working for mandatory State Registration.

“It has been accepted that the membership fee paid by our members will not be treated as a benefit in kind and, as such, it does not have to be included in the HMRC return for tax purposes.

“This is another huge step forward for the industry and follows our political lobbying which has resulted in the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Hair Industry being formed in Westminster. Members of the National Assembly for Wales are also supporting our campaign for a cross party group to be established at the Senedd and we hope to hope have more news on this development soon.”

Barbering Creative Workshop Delivered by ISA Learner

Robert Williamson from Lou’s Barbers in Quedgeley, Gloucestershire delivered July’s Creative Workshop for Barbering Techniques.

Robert is currently on an Apprenticeship with us and loves demonstrating his skills, so he was the ideal choice to lead the Creative Workshop in Barbering Essentials. This was his first demonstration for learners and it was a great success. He demonstrated a range of Barbering skills such as, fading, simple outlines and using a razor and learners in attendance had the opportunity to practice what they had learnt on their blocks.

As well as delivering in inspiring demonstration and leading the practical workshop, Robert spoke about his passion for barbering and his dreams for the future which include working with ISA in our Artistic Team. Rob’s ambition is to become a Great British Barber, following in the footsteps of MK and Darryn Pitman, demonstrating at barber conventions all over the UK.

Creative workshops take place every month in all areas, they are free to attend for ISA Apprentices and allow you to get hands on and learn a variety of new techniques.

For more information and to book a place please contact your TC or the ISA office on 01656 86 99 86




“They just won’t buy!” Improving Retail Sales with NLP

@ ISA Catch up and Coffee Monday 25th July 2016

Why should you attend?

Have you ever got the end of the haircut and dreaded the ‘sales’ conversation, so you avoid it? Perhaps you have the conversation, but rarely get the sale?

Would you like some tips you can use straight away in your salon to increase your retail sales? Tools that will help your team, help you, hit your sales targets?

The key to sales is good communication –most hairdressers are great at holding a conversation and can build rapport, but with NLP we can tailor our communication, listen in a new way, ask strategic questions and talk to our client in a way that works for them. With a good margin on retail products, focusing on increasing sales in this area of your business can have a big effect on your bottom line. By tailoring our communication, we are better able to describe the ‘reasons to buy’ in a way that appeals to the client and increases the chances of them saying ‘yes, I’ll take that’. For many years, NLP has helped businesses increase sales and grow – come along to catch a glimpse of how to do it!

During the session you will learn:

  • What is NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how can it help you and your business.
  • Is ‘sales’ really a dirty word? Why some people struggle with the word ‘sales’, how you can reframe this for yourself and your teams to make it easier for you to get over the first hurdle to selling – you!
  • How to build rapport that makes a difference, understand how the mind works and how to consciously build rapport and therefore make selling easier (you’ll learn how to build rapport with anyone, even people you don’t like!)
  • Everyone has their ‘preferred’ language – listening to our clients in a new way will allow us to understand their preferences and use this to help us tailor our conversation
  • Understand how, by asking some strategic questions and listening to the response when clients are in the chair, stylists will be able to tailor their interactions when it comes to the ‘sale’ to the point where clients are highly likely to close the sale themselves!

This session is designed as an introduction to NLP for salon owners and managers who want to be able to help their teams get even better results. It’ll be fun, interactive, and full of practical takeaways that you can put into practice in your business straight away. You don’t need any prior knowledge of NLP or communication skills, simply come with an attitude of curiosity and a willingness to learn!

More about Laura

After 15 years in HR and Training roles in corporate life Laura decided to follow her passion of how the mind works, empowering people & helping them unleash their potential. She started studying NLP in 2008 and is a Master NLP Coach and International Trainer of NLP, running NLP & NLP Coaching courses across the UK. A chartered member of the CIPD, Laura is also a qualified ILM Level 7 Executive Coach and has a number of Business Coaching Clients across public and private sectors.

When it came to NLP, Laura was amazed at how quickly and easily she could change the way she thought, she changed things that had held her back for years, and saw astonishing results! She brings a sense of fun, energy and passion to her workshops – “she is one of the [NLP] industry’s rising stars!”


Website: www.unleashyourpotential.org.uk

Contact Details:

Email: info@unleashyourpotential.org.uk

Mobile: 07885 500 080

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/lauraevansuyp





Darryn Pitman – Finalist in 2016 VQ Day Awards

Congratulations to former ISA Learner Darryn PItman who is a finalist in tonight’s prestigious Wales VQ Day Awards.  Darryn’s story will be showcased this evening at St David’s Hotel, Cardiff Bay, where the winner will also be announced.

Darryn is currently sharing his skills on a world tour of 20 countries and feels privileged to be working in an exciting industry that has opened so many doors for him.

His great passion is training the next generation of hairdressers and barbers, including those at the salon he manages, Captiva Spa in Caerphilly.

An outstanding example of how vocational learning can help to make dreams come true, Darryn, 28, opted for a career where he could be a showman and have fun. His achieved a Foundation Apprenticeship in Hairdressing in 2008 while working for Spirit Hair Team in Ystrad Mynach followed by Apprenticeships in Hairdressing and Barbering.

“An Apprenticeship is a great way to learn a trade and having hands-on training was essential for my progress,” he said. “From day one, I knew I wanted to be a world famous hairdresser and nothing was going to stand in my way. I am really passionate about hairdressing and it’s great that I can showcase my work on the highest stage worldwide.”

He is delivering training on a world tour for Dear Barber, a company he represents as a global ambassador. His impressive achievements include 36 awards at hairdressing and barbering competitions, which have helped to hone his skills to share with others.

Darryn has won two prestigious UK competitions – Wahl British Barber of the Year 2014 and Hairdressers Journal’s International Barber of the Year 2013 – and was awarded British Master Barber status in 2014. He is also the official ambassador for Matakki Scissors and a member of Bridgend-based training provider ISA Training’s Artistic Team.

Clare Jeffries, Head of Apprenticeships at ISA Training, said: “Self-belief is not common in young people and to have an ambassador like Darryn to promote this to young apprentices is priceless.”

Good Luck Darryn from everyone at ISA, we are so proud of you and what you have achieved and thank you for everything you give back to the next generation of apprentices.






Celebrating Europe Day

Since 2007, EU projects have assisted, 227,670 to gain qualifications in Wales. Since 2007, with the support of EU funding ISA Training have delivered qualifications to 2,692 learners in the following areas:

Hairdressing 1,594
Barbering 1,939
Beauty 165
Customer Service 220
Management & TL 146
Business Admin 64
Pre-Apprenticeships 52
Retail 4
Sport 102

ISA have very strong links with European partners. Over the last 3 years 48 ISA Learners have experienced working visits to: Tarragona, Spain on three separate occasions; Pathos, Cyprus twice; Poland and Turkey where they all experienced working and training in salons. ISA welcomed our partners to Wales in 2015 when  representatives from Turkey, Poland and Spain visited Salon Cymru as part of the Health & Beauty Europe Project.  ‪#‎DiwrnodEwrop


Spain H&B Network Group Shot_web

06.01.14 mh ISA Cyprus 54_web

27.10.14 mh ISA Training Poland 9_web

11.02.13 mh ISA Spain Trip 5_web

Team Cyprus_web

26.04.15 Salon Cymru 313_web

Spain 15 Group Shot_web

Salon Cymru Overall Winner is ‘Lost for Words!’

18-year-old apprentice, Robyn Cooper was lost for words as she was judged the overall winner of Salon Cymru 2016 at Y Plas on Sunday 10th April. Robyn, who works for Tonic Hair Design in Pontnewynwdd, collected the main award after earlier winning Hair-up Level 2 at the annual competition which attracted 120 competitors this year.
“I can’t believe it because I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said Robyn, who was competing at Salon Cymru for the first time. “I am really happy because winning this award is going to be amazing for my career. It means such a lot to me because I have proved myself.
“I have been practising for only three weeks with my model Chloe McCarthy and I would have been happy to finish in the top 10 in the hair up competition. My ambition is to travel when I have qualified and I would like to work on cruise ships.”
Steven Smart, one of the judges who has won British, European and world championships for ladies hairdressing, complimented her work.
In addition to her overall winner trophy, Robyn has also won a photoshoot with Salon Cymru’s official portrait photographer Justin Harris.

Overall Winner Robyn Cooper Tonic Hair Design Pontnewynydd with model and award