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Celebrating the Future of Hairdressing

Celebrating the Future of Hairdressing

23 November 2011

New Zealand's rising hairdressing stars were celebrated at the Hairdressing ITO Annual Awards in Auckland on Sunday night. The night was also an opportunity to celebrate the efforts of the salons, trainers and tutors committed to growing the next generation of hairdressers.

The prestigious Apprentice of the Year title went to Dunedin hairdresser Laura Simpson. Laura has had an amazing year, representing New Zealand at the International WorldSkills Competition in London, and triumphing over much more experience senior stylists to win the top award at the Otago regional hairdressing competition.

HITO CEO Erica Cumming says that Laura stood out in what was a very high calibre field of finalists. "As well as being exceptionally talented and creative, Laura is an extremely hard worker. There's probably no other apprentice this year who has spent as much time practising and honing their skills," says Erica.

"There is no doubt that Laura is a rising hairdressing star. She proved in London that she is World class, and she is just getting better and better. A key strength of Laura's is that she is so willing to share what she learns with others, and that really is a sign of a champion," says Erica.

Fellow apprentice Marianna Brown was awarded the Jasmine McBeth Memorial Scholarship. This Scholarship goes to the apprentice who is totally committed to achieving their goals. Up until the 22 February earthquake Marianna worked at an inner city salon in Christchurch. As her salon was in the red zone Marianna no longer had a source of income and had no access to training facilities.

Marianna moved to Auckland as part of the 'Adopt Christchurch's Apprentices' initiative. This campaign was devised by a group of Auckland hairdressers concerned about the fate of displaced Christchurch hairdressing apprentices. Marianna first worked at the Bettjemens Salon and then found a permanent role at Ainsleys Hair Design in the Auckland suburb of Newmarket.

"Although the devastating events in Christchurch forced me to relocate in order to follow my career and passion, it has also inspired me to apply for this scholarship" says Marianna.

Her hope of returning to her home town has come true as she has just secured a position in a Christchurch salon where she can bring her experience and knowledge back into the hairdressing community.

The inaugural winner of the hairdressing Trainer of the Year Award, Niq James, has also had his year disrupted by earthquakes. Erica Cumming says that Niq has shown an outstanding dedication to hairdressing education in a year which has provided him with significant challenges.

"Niq has travelled up and down New Zealand training many people in our industry on something that he is truly passionate about. He worked intensively with Laura Simpson, New Zealand's WorldSkills competitor in London this year, and has been the driving force in bringing WorldSkills to New Zealand. He represented New Zealand as one of the WorldSkills judges in London and perhaps his most astounding achievement is that he has done all this while losing his salon in the February earthquake," says Erica.

HQ Hair by Design in New Plymouth won the Training Salon of the Year title. HQ have an impressive history with apprenticeships; completing and qualifying more than 25 in a 40 year history. Owner Lyndsay Loveridge believes that everybody working in this industry should be in education. "You need to invest in apprentices and in their life. It's not just about learning the technical requirements but it's also about being a life coach and mentor and helping them set goals and then achieve them," says Lyndsay.

All HITO apprentices have an off job training component to their training which is carried out by tutors at Polytechnics or Private Training Establishments. This year's Tutor of the Year title went to Claire Allen from Servilles. A key focus for Claire has been addressing the literacy and learning barriers of trainees, and her work to embed literacy and numeracy tasks into her lesson plans has significantly improved her students' results.


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