Our amazing apprentice Ashlee Van Wijk has astounded competition coming second at the World Trade National competition in Hamilton. Ashlee topped the Canterbury region and now has the opportunity to progress to the finals next year in Brazil.
“I’m still getting my head around what this all means, it was a challenging two days, very intense but heaps of fun”, says Ashlee. The World Skills competition gives young people the chance to compete globally in their chosen skill from any vocational trade. The New Zealand nationals saw ten entrants battling it out over two days of competition in Hamilton. Rounds included three wishes, where a cut, colour and style were chosen at random and a very interesting beard trim and perm. “We had to incorporate the stencil design into the beard, mine was all straight lines so the beard was very angular but watch out for some of these designs next Movember!”
Most would find it challenging working on a mannequin but to the participants it’s second nature, “The most nerve wracking part was looking up and having cameras all around you, filming your every move”, Ashlee says. The competition wasn’t just about the end result but an ongoing assessment of performance. “The judges took into account how you moved around the ‘salon’, how calm you were and your attitude to the tasks, you had to be on the ball every minute”. Ashlee is only in her third year as an apprentice and until now had only been involved with colour application and treatment. For her to get second, against some fully trained hairdressers is truly fabulous!
Ashlee and the other members of the top three will now spend the next twelve months training with industry renowned Niq James, where a decision will be made on who will progress to the world finals in Brazil August 2015. “The chance to train with Niq is an experience in itself but to go to the finals would be a dream come true”, Ashlee concludes.