Coláiste Dhúlaigh College sees inaugural hairdressing apprentices graduate

The National Hairdressing Apprenticeship, a three-year programme leading to a nationally recognised QQI Level 6 Qualification in Hairdressing, was launched in 2022 to open doors to a hairdressing career with many exciting and varied opportunities including self-employment, film and media work and international travel – and its first set of apprentices are set to showcase all the skills they learned to their employers, mentors and families, presenting a ‘total look’ model, on Monday 19th February. This Capstone Showcase Event, taking place in Fallon & Byrne, Dublin at 7:00pm, is the culmination of the apprentices’ three-year journey, and is an important day for Coláiste Dhúlaigh CFE as well as the apprentices, with this being the first group of hairdressing students to complete the programme there, and are indeed among the very first in Ireland to do so!

Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education in Kilbarrack, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020, is just one of the locations where the City of Dublin Education and Training Board offered this hairdressing apprenticeship from which today’s students graduated. The college itself is spread over four campuses and has provided hairdressing training in its fully fitted salon in Kilbarrack for over 30 years. Since the introduction of the apprenticeship, they have added a second salon which is a state of the art training facility, reflecting current industry standards and requirements. The programme which these apprentices have followed, complements in-salon training, while increasing the apprentice's personal and academic confidence, developing highly skilled employees who can work autonomously and develop levels of self-awareness, linking their classroom learning with the challenges they will face in the industry. This provides them with a clear path from entry to qualification, and today’s showcase event is itself proof of this.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris TD has welcomed the expansion of the National Hairdressing Apprenticeship, which will be delivered in six new sites. Increased investment in the apprenticeship system over the past five years has provided a solid foundation for the expansion of apprenticeship. Most recently, in March, Minister Harris announced the roll-out of €20 million in capital funding to respond to the growing demand for apprenticeships.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said : “Apprenticeships give access to real and valued careers for learners. It delivers talented and work-ready people for employers. I am incredibly proud of the effort being made across the country by the hairdressing sector and every industry to encourage people choosing the apprenticeship route. Two years ago I was delighted to officially open the new hairdressing apprenticeship salon in Colaiste Dhulaigh and I am so glad to see the progress that has been made to date.

“I want to congratulate the graduates on their remarkable three-year journey, marking a significant milestone and result for them but also for Coláiste Dhúlaigh and the staff.. The dedication, passion, and skill of the apprentices have not only transformed their own lives but have also set a standard of excellence for future generations of aspiring hairdressers.”

Kevin Cahill is a current tutor, and the Hairdressing Apprenticeship Co-ordinator for the college. With over 45 years’ experience in the industry, Kevin is a former Irish Hairdressing Federation President and salon owner. Commenting on the new programme, Kevin Cahill says “While the new structure will provide challenges for the industry, I believe that Irish hairdressing is more than ready for them, and it will be fantastic to see apprentice hairdressers here finish with a qualification that is both nationally and internationally recognised”

He continued: “I believe this will have incredible long-term benefits not only for the apprentices but also for the employers and the quality of recruits coming into the industry. The new training salon and dedicated computer hub are among the best facilities to be found anywhere and reflect the exceptional standards in Irish Hairdressing”.

More information is available on the NHA website: