This week, we celebrated the launch of the new iTEC & VTCT Grants and Bursaries Programme with an event hosted at Eastleigh College in the East Avenue Restaurant.
This new Grants and Bursaries Programme was initiated by the VTCT Board of Trustees and assists in the fulfilment of our charitable purpose, with the focus of the programme to assist and support learners between the ages of 16-25 years taking an iTEC or VTCT qualification. Particular emphasis has been given to help those who may be particularly disadvantaged and would not otherwise have had the means to study.
Recipients of the programme include care leavers or cared for young people, those who have caring responsibilities for other members of their family, those living on a low family annual income, young people with disabilities, and those with special educational needs.
Attendees were welcomed to the event by Dr. Jan Edrich, Chief Executive and Principal of Eastleigh College. They then heard from Alan Woods OBE, Chief Executive of iTEC & VTCT, about the purpose and objectives of the programme. He 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 the 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.”
Professor Dr Chris Laws, Chairman of the VTCT Board of Trustees, addressed the group gathered to celebrate the launch saying, “As Chair of the Board we’re keen to ensure that our resources are used to support learners from all backgrounds that may face challenges in gaining access to learning.I’ve been very proud to see this fantastic programme develop from conception through to this launch, which will help learners who need it most across our UK network. Many of the colleges receiving these grants are based in some of the most deprived areas of the nation; some seeing as many as a third of their learners living in poverty. As a board, we’ll be maintaining a close interest in this initiative and are committed to this for at least the next three years.”
Following Professor Laws remarks, Carley Glasper-Hassell, an Eastleigh College alumni, shared her educational journey. Having studied Beauty Therapy, Carley went on to work in various salons and spas until just three years ago when she opened her own hair and beauty salon, Completely Gorgeous, in Bitterne. Now, she employs 10 colleagues in a very successful business. Her passion for the industry has only grown over the last decade; in an effort to give back, she will soon be starting an Education Qualification where she can influence the lives of individuals just as she was influenced during her time at Eastleigh College.
The afternoon was full of excitement, networking and learning. Tom Chapman, Founder and CEO of Lions’ Barber Collective, was present and sharing his mission of tackling male suicide “one hair cut at a time.” Students from Eastleigh College’s Hospitality and Catering Department showcased their skills with the most delicious canapés and desserts that were prepared earlier that day. Learners studying Media Makeup at Eastleigh demonstrated some impressive techniques on each other and even VTCT’s own Chief Financial Officer, Daniel Underwood. The looks and effects were eerily real and quite believable.
A highlight for all, especially the Hairdressing learners present, was a live demonstration by Global Ambassador and Artistic Director for Matrix Hair products, Paul Falltrick. Paul spent a great deal of time talking through the techniques and processes used to cut and style his model Shannon Patterson’s beautiful hair. Shannon is the Student Governor on the Board of Governors at Eastleigh College and a third-year student in Public Services.
The following quotes come from some of the training providers receiving this funding.
Eastleigh College: “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.”
Cardiff and Vale College: “We are based in a high deprivation area in Wales. Currently, 37% of our learners are BAME learners and 30% of the learners live in poverty. The bursary will be used to support those learners with their access to essential equipment.”
Leeds City College: “49% of 16 to 19-year-olds that study in the college live in areas of deprivation, 51% of 16-18 years olds join the college with less than a Level 1 qualification. The bursary will be used to subsidise kits, uniforms and trips.”
ProActive Training: “We’re delighted to have been selected for such a brilliant initiative by iTEC & VTCT. This will be of such value to learners where they are restricted in terms of costs and distance to one of our centres. It will be put to extremely good use and we will give great thought to where best deployed.”
The event was a celebration of those training providers that were chosen as recipients this year. These include:
- Cardiff and Vale College
- City & Islington College
- City of Liverpool College
- Coleg y Cymoedd
- Dundee & Angus College
- East Kent College
- Eastleigh College
- Fareham College
- Milton Keynes College
- Leeds City College
- Manchester College Group
- ProActive Training
- White Rose School of Health & Beauty
- West London College
A sincere thank you to all involved from Eastleigh College that created an incredible event, especially Sue Lyons and her team (Curriculum Manager – Hospitality & Catering), Lorna Wagner (Head of Learner Journey for Eastleigh College), Lou Gittens (Assistant Principal), and Dr. Jan Edrich.
We will be releasing the application process for the 2020 Grants and Bursaries Programme in the New Year so please check back for further details on how to apply.