Sally Heyes (19) from Ockbrook and Sam Winson (20) from Allestree will compete in the regional heat of the competition, organised by Concept hair magazine, which will be held at Stephenson College in Coalville on Monday February 10.
Former West Park school pupil Sally is an apprentice at Anya Mae salon in Derwent Business Centre, Clarke Street.
She is entering the colouring competition which she will create ahead of the competition and then style on the day ready for the judging.
Apprentice barber, Sam, who is a former pupil at Woodlands School, works for Robert Ashley Barbering in Chester Green and will cut and style a ‘Great Gatsby’ style for the competition.
They have been put forward for the competition by DCG assessor Tracy Eaton who said: “Both Sally and Sam have been chosen for their skills and work ethic. They have natural ability and I think will do well in the competition.
“The fact that this new competition is aimed at apprentices will hopefully raise the profile of apprenticeships both amongst young people and employers.
If successful, Sally and Sam will go up against the winners of the five other regional heats at the national finals at the L’Oréal Professionnel Academy in London in March, where they will compete to be named the first ever Concept Hair Apprentice of the Year.
Sally said: “I am really looking forward to the competition as it is a great opportunity to showcase my skills. I enjoy creating vivid colours and have gone for a very contemporary look.
“I was told at school that a hairdressing apprenticeship was ‘not a proper job’ but there is a great deal to learn and it is certainly not an easy ride.”
Sam continued: “We only have 45 minutes to cut, blow dry and style on the day. Although I am used to time constraints, it will be a lot more pressure being watched by the judges.
“It’s good to get out of your comfort zone and test yourself in competitions. My model is my boss Robert Ashley so I am sure he will help me stay calm.”
Robert Ashley started his career as an apprentice with Derby College and has returned there both as a guest lecturer and a member of the Employment and Skills Board for hairdressing and barbering.
He concluded: “Competitions such as these are a great to showcase skills but also to help build self-confidence.
“It is important that we as professionals train the next generation through structured apprenticeship programmes and it is great that this competition is focused solely on young people who are learning on the job with the support of colleges.”