A PONTYPOOL hair salon is reaping the benefits from Jobs Growth Wales The Welsh Government’s programme provides job opportunities for unemployed young people in Wales.

Thank to the programme, Darren Lewis has grown his salon in Pontypool. Having started the business in 2011, Mr Lewis was eager to expand but was concerned whether he would have enough money to support a second salary.

Jobs Growth Wales not only bridged that gap but brought him back together with stylist Kate Ryan, 24, whom he trained at a salon in Cwmbran years earlier. He was delighted to be able to take her on board earlier this year. Following their initial training together, Miss Ryan pursued a nursing course but found it impractical to combine with looking after her sixyear old daughter.

Miss Ryan, who applied for a place on the programme through Careers Wales, is delighted to be back in the salon.

She is now doing her NVQ Level 3 qualification in hairdressing.