MODERN Apprentice Sarah Meggeson is proving she can succeed in the world of hairdressing before even finishing her training.

The 18-year-old has almost finished an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship (AMA) in hairdressing, provided by Newcastle-based BL Hairdressing Training and funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) County Durham.

Sarah, from Bishop Middleham, in County Durham, who works at Evolution in Sedgefield, County Durham, has her own client list.

She is regularly running a full client list, sometimes working with up to ten people a day.

This is a rare achievement, as most junior hairdressers at her stage have less responsible roles in their workplaces until they qualify.

She said: "Hairdressing was something I had always wanted to do, and this Modern Apprenticeship has been a brilliant way of combining working and training at the same time.

"I am able to use the skills I have learnt at BL Hairdressing, where I trained once a fortnight, at work.

"When I first came to Evolution about a year ago, I was just doing colours, but I just built up a client list and now I am very busy."

By 2005, the LSC County Durham aims to have almost 14,000 16 to 18-year-olds in structured learning.

One of the ways it hopes to achieve this is through Modern Apprenticeships, a Government work-based option for 16 to 24-year-olds which are available in more than 80 careers.

For details on what courses are offered, call 0808 001 3219.