A talented and motivated Donegal apprentice is reaping the rewards of her work every day as she strives towards her career goals.
Hairdressing apprentice Kim Kelly works locally and is learning on-the-job with a well-established business.
It’s training like no other, as she has her feet in the door with her employer from the moment she started her programme.
Kim wanted to get a formal qualification in hairdressing, but she knew how fast the industry can evolve with trends and styles. She decided to study for her qualification while working at Patrick Gildea Hairdressing in Letterkenny, so registered as an apprentice with Donegal ETB and is pursuing her off-the-job training with MSLETB.
Kim now combines one day of study in the ETB Training Centre in Sligo with in-salon training the rest of the week.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity,” Kim says. “You’re on the job learning and getting paid at the same time.
“I do a class every week with Patrick too, so I am getting great experience while studying the science and the in-depth theory with my teacher Marie Morrison in Sligo.
“Without this programme I would be getting a lot of experience without anything to show for it. With the apprenticeship, I’ll have a QQI Level 6 qualification in Hairdressing that I can take anywhere.”
Kim’s commitment earned her the Apprentice of the Year Award in the Services category at the #GenerationApprenticeship 2022 Apprentice of the Year Awards which were awarded by the Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris in October.
She has also inspired three more apprentices to begin with Patrick Gildea Hairdressing Centre of Excellence.
Patrick says: “For the first time ever, this programme was designed part and parcel by the industry along with the ETB. I was delighted to have an input at that stage and I think it’s a fantastic Level 6 qualification that officially rubber stamps that a person is a qualified hairdresser.
“What makes our business successful is education – we educate all the team every week. We have two educators within the team and we bring in guest artists. We feel that the industry is ever-evolving and you have to be educated continuously. To have the ETBs in the background supporting us is massive for us as a business. We see this programme as benefitting the entire industry. If we can encourage other hairdressers to jump on as well and support the future stars then that’s all we want.”
Another award-winning apprentice from Donegal is Brendan Giles, who also won a #GenerationApprenticeship 2022 Apprentice of the Year Award in the Engineering and Manufacturing category in October.
He is currently employed as an apprentice with Abbott Diabetes Care in Donegal Town and is now in his second year of a three year QQI Level 7 degree in Manufacturing Engineering.
Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service facilitates employer-driven apprenticeships in a variety of sectors, including construction, electrical, engineering, ICT, finance, retail, hospitality and food, motor, property services and sales. Apprenticeships vary in duration from 2-4 years with qualifications available from levels 5-10 on the National Framework of Qualifications.
The first step for anyone wishing to do an apprenticeship is to find an approved employer willing to employ him/her as an apprentice. The employer then registers their apprentice with SOLAS by contacting Donegal ETB.
The full list of available apprenticeships in Ireland is on https://apprenticeship.ie/more/apprenticeship-directory. If you see an opportunity to suit you, contact the Apprenticeship Team who will be happy to answer all questions and explain in more detail the options available in relation to apprenticeships. Further information is also available on Donegal ETB’s website here: www.donegaletb.ie/apprenticeships.
If you are interested in pursuing an apprenticeship or are an employer wishing to find out more, simply contact Donegal ETB’s Apprenticeship Team on 074 9120500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Tags: