Pioneering Training Provider shortlisted for national awards

Posted on by karen.smith

ISA Training’s chairman Shirley Davis-Fox (right) with managing director Berni Tyler.

The largest independent hairdressing and beauty training provider in Wales has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Bridgend-based ISA Training is one of 36 finalists in 13 categories of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2013, organised jointly by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). The business is shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Provider of the Year award.

The awards recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality apprenticeships and other work-based learning programmes across Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with the support of the European Social Fund.

The winners will be announced at a high profile awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Friday, October 18.

It has been a memorable year for ISA Training, which has a successful track record of providing exciting, career enhancing opportunities for work-based learners and working closely with employers.

The innovative company has celebrated its 15th anniversary, achieved the Investors in People gold standard, become the first work-based learning provider in Wales to be recognised by Habia Skills Academy as a Centre of Expertise and been recognised for its work in two Estyn best practice case studies.

In addition, the company organised a pioneering, two-week work experience placement to Tarragona, Spain for 10 apprentices and two staff. Funding has been secured from the European Commission’s Leonardo Programme a run a similar visit next year to Cyprus, where the company has established a partnership with Discovery Training.

Closer to home, ISA Training organises Salon Cymru, a dynamic annual showcase for hairdressing and beauty learners from Wales and England, at the Swalec Stadium, Cardiff.

Having grown tenfold since its launch in 1998, ISA Training employs 63 staff and specialises in work-based learning, delivering government funded programmes in beauty, hairdressing, customer service, team leading and management.

In the past 15 years, the company’s turnover has increased from £350,000 to £3.5 million, learners have increased from 100 to in excess of 800 and the number of employers it works with has risen from 35 to in excess of 400.

“Building a successful working relationship with employers not only supports learners in the achievement of the apprenticeship but also supports the employer and their business,” said ISA Training’s chairman Shirley Davis-Fox.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates said: “The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru remind us of the incredible wealth of talent that Wales has to offer and the outstanding achievements of Wales’ learners, employers and learning providers.

“Apprenticeships play an integral role in our economy. Not only do they provide essential skills and qualifications, but are in themselves life-changing opportunities for young people and, for employers, a major investment that’s paying real dividend to their bottom line and in the skills of their workforce.

“We know that apprenticeships deliver real business benefits and that’s why the Welsh Government, with support from the European Social Fund, continues to invest heavily in opportunities for young people to take up apprenticeships and continues to support employers who want to invest in the future of their workforce.

“Through their passion and dedication, the finalists announced at this year’s awards will inspire countless others to strive for excellence and demonstrate the tremendous impact that vocational training can have. I wish all of our finalists the very best as they continue to make great contributions in their chosen fields.”

Showcasing excellence in skills development in Wales, the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC with support from media partner, Media Wales.

More than 300 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales are expected to attend the high profile awards ceremony, where guests will dine out with chefs from the Welsh National Culinary Team.

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