AN apprentice barber has won first place in a national competition.

Amber Watkinson, from Pickering, competed against students from across the country to win the award.

The 17-year-old, who is an apprentice at Pickering’s Something for the Weekend Sir?, is studying NVQ Level 2 in barbering at The Academy, in Norton, one evening a week.

Each year The Academy holds a skills competition for all its students, with Amber entering the barbering section from which she qualified to go through to the regional heats at Gateshead and then the National Finals at Blackpool.

Salon owner Sharon Hornby said she was extremely proud of Amber.

“I was ecstatic when I found out she had won – she has done an excellent job,” she said. “Amber started with me as a Saturday job and now is a fully qualified hairdresser and barber.”

Students Abbie Dawson, from Pickering, Katie Shephard, from Norton, and Fern Mitchell, Nichole Witty, Ashley Morton and Beth Sample, from Scarborough, also got through to the national finals in the beauty therapy categories.

Beth won third place in the 1950s make-up competition, Abbie and Beth entered the Level 3 Avant Garde make-up and Katie entered media make-up. Fern and Nichol entered team bridal. All students would like to thank their models for taking part on the day.

Lindsay Burr, Academy director, said: “This is a marvellous achievement, they all did so well. However, we are particularly delighted that Amber won the first place trophy for her barbering skills and Beth won third place trophy for her make up skills. Amber is a credit to The Academy Hair and Beauty college and to her employer.

“Thanks must go to all involved with the in-house, regional and national competitions.”