International vocational and technical qualifications awarding organisation, VTCT, hosted a launch event at Eastleigh College’s East Avenue restaurant to celebrate the recipients of the VTCT Grants and Bursaries Programme 2019.
The afternoon was full of excitement, networking and learning as attendees saw demonstrations and heard from special guests from across some of the industry areas covered by VTCT’s qualifications, as well as hearing from alumni learners.
The focus of the new Grants and Bursaries Programme is to assist and support learners between the ages of 16-25 years taking an iTEC or VTCT qualification, with particular emphasis given to help those who may be particularly disadvantaged and would not otherwise have had the means to study.
Hospitality and Catering students from Eastleigh College showcased their skills with delicious canapés and desserts, while learners studying Hair and Media Make-up demonstrated some impressive techniques on each other… and even some of the attendees!
Special guests included Tom Chapman, Founder and CEO of Lions’ Barber Collective, who shared his mission of tackling male suicide ‘one hair cut at a time’, and Global Ambassador and Artistic Director for Matrix hair products, Paul Falltrick, who carried out a demonstration on one of Eastleigh College’s Student Governor on the College’s Board of Governors, Shannon Patterson.
Attendees also heard from Carley Glasper-Hassell, an Eastleigh College alumni, who shared her educational journey. Having studied Beauty Therapy, Carley went on to work in various salons and spas gaining experience before opening her own hair and beauty salon, Completely Gorgeous, in Bitterne. Her passion for the industry continues to grow and she now employs 10 colleagues in a very successful business.
In an effort to give back, she will soon be starting an education qualification which will enable her to influence the lives of individuals just as she was influenced during her time at Eastleigh College.
iTEC and VTCT specialise in awarding vocational qualifications in a range of service professions including hairdressing and barbering, beauty therapy, complementary therapy, sport, active health and fitness, hospitality, business and retail and learning and development. The aim of this programme is at the heart of the organisation’s charitable objective being the advancement of education for the public benefit.
Recipients of VTCT’s grants and bursaries include care leavers or cared for young people, those who have caring responsibilities for other members of their family, those living on a family annual income of less than £28,000, young people with disabilities, those with special educational needs and more.
Alan Woods OBE, Chief Executive of VTCT, said: “We are thrilled to have the means and opportunity to provide greater access to technical and vocational education for learners across the country. As a charity, we are always keen to deliver our charitable purpose of ensuring the advancement of education for public benefit and this new programme does exactly that.
“The organisations receiving this bursary have ambitious educational and business development goals that include learners who have specific financial needs. These learners are looking to improve their career aspirations through our qualifications and the excellent teaching delivered by the educational institutions themselves. We look forward to supporting those learners who most need it through this ongoing programme.”
In VTCT’s inaugural year, they identified 15 FE colleges and private training providers from across the UK as recipients of the Grants and Bursaries Programme. Eastleigh College was one of only two training providers in the Solent region received funding.
Eastleigh College’s Principal and Chief Executive, Dr Jan Edrich, said: “It was a pleasure to hold the event for iTEC and VTCT to launch this fantastic initiative which will undoubtedly benefit so many learners across the UK.
“There is a funding gap in the local community that means female learners over 19 but under 25, fall outside of mainstream funding. This grant will be used to support these learners by covering the starter kits and uniform costs which will in turn open the hair and beauty sector to a number of learners who would have turned down the opportunity to study because of the cost.”
The Eastleigh College Board and Senior Management Team have launched an ambitious strategy for the period 2020-24 that sets out the College’s priorities to see more learners, be more successful, more often.
The College has remained open throughout the Covid-19 pandemic for many learners and as from September 2020 all learners (including those planning to attend at College House) have returned to a full high-quality education programme as per government guidelines.