Thirty hairdressing students from The College Ystrad Mynach are heading to London next week to show off their talents to the world.
The NVQ level 3 hairdressing students are appearing at WorldSkills London 2011, the world's largest international skills showcase.
The students were invited to take part in the event at the ExCel exhibition centre after impressing the organisers with a fund-raising show they did for teenage cancer at the college in Ystrad Mynach in April.
Salon manager and lecturer Dave Bassett explained:
“The organisers put out a call for people to put on a display of t heir skills. We did a show here in April, where we showed the organisers what our talented hairdressing students are capable of, and we were delighted when they chose us to go to London.”
The hairdressing students will spend next Friday morning (October 7) creating their designs on stage at the venue in London’s Royal Docks. They will then have half an hour on the catwalk later in the day to show them off.
Mr Bassett added: “It is an excellent advert for their work and brilliant for the students to be able to put something like this on their CVs.”
The themes the hairdressers have chosen come from the Welsh Assembly’s Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship programme which encourages students to think about links between society, economy and the environment and between their lives and those of people throughout the world.
One of the young hairdressers taking part is 18-year-old Emma Hardcastle, from Blackwood.
Emma, a former Pontllanfraith Comprehensive School pupil who is now in her third year at the college, has only had three weeks to prepare for the show.
“I was a model at the show we did in April but when someone dropped out of the London show three weeks ago, I was asked to do the actual styling,” said full-time student Emma, who will be using Sabrina Dimampro to model her striking hairstyle.
Emma’s style is called “tornado” and is based on the theme of climate change. It involves pinning a wig around a polystyrene cone which is then attached to Sabrina’s head to form the body of the “tornado.”
A wispy cloud will be placed on top of the tornado to create a show-stopping visual effect at the event, which has been created from real hair Emma and her fellow students collected after a practical session in the college salon.
Emma, who hopes to go into hairdressing full time when she completes college, said: “I am really excited about taking part in the event as it’s going to be such a great experience for me and I’ll be able to learn a lot from the other hairdressers and their work.”
The WorldSkills event is held in different countries every other year and around 150,000 visitors are expected to visit the London showcase where 1,000 competitors from more than 50 countries will be demonstrating 46 different skills from hairdressing to bricklaying over four days from October 5 to 8.
The College Ystrad Mynach has centres in Ystrad Mynach, Rhymney, Bargoed, Blackwood, Aber Valley, Caerphilly and Tredomen.