Students from Newcastle College have reached the national finals of a prestigious hair and beauty competition, after winning big at the North East heats in April.

The annual Association of Hairdressers and Therapists (AHT) Regional Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy Competition was held at the Federation Brewery, Gateshead on Tuesday 5 April. Hair and beauty students from 15 colleges across the North East competed against each other in 21 competitions, hoping to impress a panel of seven expert judges to gain one of the top three places to progress and compete at the National AHT final at Blackpool in May.

Newcastle College students earned a top three finish in 10 out of the 13 rounds they competed in, resulting in the College being named best overall college in the North East competition and securing their place at Blackpool.

Lindsay Gaskill, Teaching Learning & Assessment Coach at Newcastle College, and AHT Chair and Competition Director, said: “I’m so pleased to return to our annual competitions in-person for the first time since the pandemic.

“The standard of work is always really high and competitions like this are an important opportunity for students to develop their skills and stretch themselves to demonstrate they can succeed in industry and progress to WorldSkills UK. They get to interact with peers from all over the region, along with employers and industry judges, all of which adds up to being more a more experienced, highly-skilled and work-ready individual, which is really valuable for our local employers.

“I’m very proud of the work Newcastle College students produced at the event and I’m thrilled we’ll be at the finals in Blackpool in May.”

The winning students from the competition and progressing to the final are:

Michael Porter - 1st place men's barbering

Craig Warnes - 1st place lady's evening hair

Paola Aylar - 1st place face paint

Jess Darling - 1st place bridal make up

Fay Ingles - 1st place editorial make up

Harvey Garwood - 2nd place fantasy hair

Toni Leigh Johnson - 2nd place face paint

Morgan Stout - 2nd place bridal make up

Zoe Saward - 2nd place editorial make up

Sophie Roxburgh - 3rd place lady's evening hair