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Amy achieves a silver medal at WorldSkills and a satisfying career path

Ipswich State High School graduate and Lily Me Red apprentice, Amy Pearson, is not someone who seeks an ordinary life — this is clear from the very moment you meet her.

Amy began her career in high school, studying her Certificate III in Hairdressing (SHB30416) at TAFE Queensland’s Ipswich campus, through a school-based apprenticeship.

While in Year 11, Amy competed in a Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) hairdressing category in a regional WorldSkills competition held at the Ipswich campus in 2022.

After placing third, Amy was invited to participate in the national WorldSkills competition held in Melbourne in August 2023.

Following the demanding three-day competition against other school-based apprentices from around the country, Amy took home a silver medal in the VETiS hairdressing category.

She excelled despite the intense competition environment, scoring highly in her perming and permanent colour techniques, formal up-styling and hair treatments on male and female models.

Amy’s success at a regional WorldSkills level resulted in a trip to Melbourne to compete within the Hairdressing VETiS in the prestigious WorldSkills National Competition in August 2023.

Half of one point separated Amy from the national winner, and Amy couldn’t have been prouder of her performance.

“WorldSkills is something I would recommend for anyone in the hairdressing industry, and for any trade really,” Amy shared.

“It's such a big opportunity to represent your state as well as your TAFE Queensland campus that you come from.”

“You feel a lot more confident after doing that competition and just competing generally.”

This year’s WorldSkills competitions are region-based, with trade competitions running until October across the state. Those who achieve a medal in regional competitions may be eligible to compete in the National Championships which are held every second year, with Brisbane hosting the event in 2025.

As for now, Amy is finishing her apprenticeship at the Lily Me Red hairdressing salon in Ipswich, mentored by her colleagues and her industry-experienced TAFE Queensland teachers.

“Definitely the advantage of being at TAFE Queensland is that you’re using all their equipment, skills and knowledge at their fully equipped salon on campus and then also having on-the-job training as well,” Amy explained.

“I enjoyed the teachers and how positive they are towards everyone and just the little community there is,” Amy also offered.

The cost of training wasn’t a barrier either, with Amy eligible for her fees to be covered by the Queensland Government’s Free apprenticeships for under 25s incentive.

Now, Amy’s looking forward to finishing her apprenticeship and a lengthy career in the industry, with exciting future possibilities. 

Amy's on track to finishing her hairdressing apprenticeship and progressing her career in the industry.

“I chose to be a hairdresser because I loved making people feel amazing about themselves and just the community that hair culture brings,” she said

“It’s not just sitting in a salon and cutting hair, it can take you so many places – you can go so far with it, if you put in your all.”