College students are a cut above

APPRENTICE hairdresser Calum Hall has blown the competition away to win through to a national final.

The 19-year-old, who works at Hair @ Aftershock in Morpeth, is one of four Northumberland College students to breeze through the North East heat of the Association of Hairdressers and Therapists UK Trainee Competition.

Calum, an advanced apprentice, took gold in the ladies’ cut and blow dry section of the regional contest for the second year running after this time competing in the Level 3 heat.

The Ashington resident competed against fellow Northumberland College students Sam Robinson, from Cramlington, and Esperanza Silva-Tellez, from Blyth, to take first place in the Level 3 Skills Challenge, in which entrants had to blow dry a daytime style and then an evening style against the clock. Sam and Esperanza finished second and third respectively.

They will be joined at the national final in Blackpool later this month by another Northumberland student Melissa Howdon, of Hexham, who came third in the ladies’ evening style competition.

Head of Faculty Denise Dunn said: “I’m so proud of the students’ achievements and of their tutors whose expert tuition has helped them to get to where they are.

“They kept calm under pressure and produced some fantastic hair styles. They have done incredibly well to gain a place in the national final and I hope their talents are recognised in Blackpool.

“Competitions like this one are a great way to motivate students and encourage them in their learning, and it does wonders for their confidence.”

The college offers a range of hairdressing courses and apprenticeships. For more information visit