Pioneering training provider wins coveted national award
The largest independent hairdressing and beauty training company in Wales has won a prestigious nation award to cap a memorable year.
Bridgend-based ISA Training was named Apprenticeship Provider of the Year at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2013, organised jointly by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). The high profile awards ceremony was held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.
Managing director Berni Tyler said: “This award is a great tribute to all the staff at ISA Training and it represents everything that we strive for as a business. It’s the icing on the cake after twice being recognised by Estyn for best practice and all the other great things that have happened this year.”
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.
ISA Training has a successful track record of providing exciting, career enhancing opportunities for work-based learners and working closely with employers.
This year, 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 allow us to celebrate the range of skills that our young people have to offer as well as the dedication shown by employers and training providers and I’d like to congratulate all of the worthy winners.
“It was a real pleasure to meet such hard-working and ambitious young people who have all achieved so much, as well as the employers and training providers who have gone that extra mile in supporting young people to fulfil their potential. They are all a credit to themselves and an inspiration to others.
“Our recent budget announcement has confirmed an additional £12.5 million to extend our Jobs Growth Wales programme for a fourth year. This means that we can create more than 4,000 extra job opportunities for 16-24 year olds in 2015-16. The Welsh Government will also be investing a further £20 million in 2015-16 to support apprenticeships. This is excellent news for our young people and our employers and will allow us to make a real difference.”
Showcasing excellence in skills development in Wales, the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC with support from media partner, Media Wales.
Award Sponsors are Leadership & Management Wales and ACT Training.