Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Game of Thrones hairdresser seeks two apprentices

How a Co Down businesswoman was inspired to join Telegraph’s campaign

Patricia Strong in her Amazon salon in Ballygowan

A hairdresser whose work takes her salon to the set of TV series Game Of Thrones is recruiting two apprentices in response to our 100 Jobs In 100 Days campaign.

Patricia Strong, from Comber, Co Down, has worked in the business since starting a Saturday job age 13.

She began a five-year apprenticeship at the age of 14 and opened her first salon at 19.

During her career she has developed specialised skills for wing and hairpiece postiche — the technique of using false hair — leading her to work in film, theatre and TV.

That has included work in Ardmore Studios in Co Wicklow and most recently on the HBO fantasy epic Game Of Thrones, the third series of which is being currently filmed around Northern Ireland.

Mrs Strong said she was inspired to join the apprenticeships campaign and take on two new recruits in her salon in Ballygowan after identifying with comments in support of the scheme by Margaret Mountford.

The Co Down-born star of The Apprentice had told the Belfast Telegraph that she believed in “teaching technical skills to technically-minded people”.

The aim of our campaign is to boost employment opportunities by creating 100 apprenticeships in 100 days.

Mrs Strong (62) said: “I am looking for two apprentices, one to train in the specialised skills involved in working with wigs and hairpieces and the second apprentice to train in the specialist area of holistic massage and beauty therapy.

“The apprentices can be young and newly into hairdressing or beauty therapy, or a more mature student who has given up their career to have a family but lacks the confidence and skills to come back into the work place.”

Mrs Strong said she will also run courses in period wig fitting and dressing for film, theatre and TV; wig fitting and maintenance for hair loss, and hairdressing for weddings.

The businesswoman said she was motivated by a desire to pass on her skills.

“If and when I decide to retire I want to be content in the knowledge that I have passed on my skills and given something back|to an industry which has been a highly successful and fulfiling career for over 49 years.”

Anyone interested in a hairdressing apprenticeship with Mrs Strong’s business in Ballygowan can contact her by telephone on 07765422250 or email her on patricia.m.strong@btinternet.com

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