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Salon teams up with Council's Employability team to ensure young people are a cut above the rest

Posted on 15 Nov 2023
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The trainees were praised at a recognition event in Irvine Community Sports Club earlier this week


North Ayrshire Council’s Employability experts are helping give care-experienced young people a shot at their dream job by teaming up with a hair salon.

The Employability team is working with the Haus Of Seisay charity to give eight young people from North Ayrshire an opportunity to learn hairdressing skills through an eight-week pilot project.

This has seen the group, who are not currently engaged in employment, education or training, also explore subjects including mental health and well-being, confidence building, social media and branding and employability skills through workshops.

Thomas Seisay and his husband Tony adopted two children, now aged four and nine, so they have firsthand knowledge of social work and the care system.

It was their own personal involvement that led them to recently launching the charity, which has a hairdressing academy designed especially for care-experienced young people.

The academy teaches the trainees the tools of the trade, boosts their self-confidence and offers them vital training.

The group of eight will attain a hairdressing qualification, learn about customer service and admin and also create a CV and polish up on their interview technique.

They enjoyed three weeks of work experience at Tony Robertson Hair Spa in Kilwinning before moving on to the academy in Renfrewshire, where there is a chance to progress onto further training and qualifications.

Thomas said: “Having two adopted children gave Tony and I an insight into the care system. We want young people to learn skills, get out there and earn their own money to be independent.

“This is our first cohort with North Ayrshire Council, and they are now in week six of eight in the programme. They are learning lots and it has been good fun. They certainly keep me on my toes!

“We are a Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) centre, and they are working towards a blow-drying qualification while also learning about customer service and employability.

“Our aim is to remove the stigma and barriers that young care-experienced people face.”

Rhylee Danton, 15, says she struggled to focus at school and college and felt “trapped in the system” but is enjoying the course and says it has already made her more confident.

“I got the opportunity to better my life, thanks to Thomas and the Council partnering up. I have changed in the first six weeks – I am more confident and feel creative.

“It has already made me a better person, and I would love to be a hairdresser,” she said.

Rhylee is aiming – with continued support – to progress onto Haus Of Seisay’s 12-month programme and attain an SQA in Hairdressing.

Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Economy and Climate Change, said this pilot scheme is a great example of partnership working that will improve life for young people.

“Our Employability teams have lots of services and support available to help young people get ahead in life – from Modern Apprenticeships to training workshops.

“And this pilot with Haus Of Seisay is a fantastic example of how community partners working together can make a genuine and lasting difference to young people’s lives. Congratulations to all of those involved.”

North Ayrshire Council’s Employability Service delivers a range of support through its Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire programme.

Contracted partners delivering Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire include We Work for Families and CEIS Ayrshire, who all contribute to delivering a wide range of support to help individuals prepare and progress into employment.

To access any of the opportunities delivered by North Ayrshire Council’s Employability Service Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire please email employability@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

You can also find out how the team at our Employability Hub can help you with everything from CVs and application forms to college courses and interview techniques here: https://tinyurl.com/4wvvzubd

The photo above shows  Thomas Seisay, trainee Rhylee Danton, 15;  Councillor Margaret Johnson, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care; Laura Neill, Council Senior Manager (Employability & Skills) and Jacqueline Stevens-Gray, Council Programme Delivery Officer (Employability & Skills) at Irvine Community Sports Club where Thomas hosted a recognition event for the trainees earlier this week