VTCT (Vocational Training Charitable Trust), market-leading specialist awarding organisation offering vocational and technical qualifications, has announced today the appointment of three new members to its board of trustees.

Joining the trustee board, VTCT welcomes former Welsh Language Commissioner Meri Huws, Executive Director of M Squared Media, Jayne Lewis-Orr, and Consultant to the professional association sector, Stephanie Richardson.

Meri HuwsMeri Huws

Having worked in the higher education sector in Wales and Ireland, Meri Huws brings with her a wealth of skills in development and community engagement, with a key focus on life-long learning.

Meri recently completed a seven-year tenure as the first Welsh Language Commissioner in March 2019, a role created by the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011.

Meri became a member of the VTCT Board of Trustees in April 2019, bringing with her a broad knowledge of educational expertise to the board.

She was a Pro Vice Chancellor at Bangor University and later at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s.The principle focus of her work was life-long learning, skills development and community engagement. Meri is also a Board member of Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.

Jayne Lewis OrrJayne Lewis-Orr

Jayne Lewis-Orr is Executive Director of the Professional Beauty Group. Having been actively involved in the hair and beauty industry for over 30 years, Jayne brings her extensive industry knowledge and experience to VTCT & iTEC as well as her passion for raising industry standards and positive profiles of the markets. Jayne’s knowledge and understanding of how to make the hair and beauty industry more commercial and relatable will be a key area of focus.

Jayne started her career as a junior assistant on the Hair & Beauty Group at Reed Business Information and worked her way up, having qualified as a journalist, to become Editor-in-Chief of the portfolio. She is now Executive Director of the Professional Beauty Group that includes the Hairdressers Journal International, Salon International, Professional Beauty and Aesthetic Medicine brands.  All of these have a multi-channel approach to their content with events, awards, print, online and social media channels.

Actively involved in the hair and beauty industry for 30+ years, Jayne is an effective member of industry associations and bodies and is a director of the industry charity.

She brings to VTCT current knowledge of the hair and beauty industries and a passion for raising the standards and positive profiles of the markets.

Stephanie RichardsonStephanie Richardson

Stephanie Richardson brings many years of leadership experience in higher education and membership organisations. Her previous roles included working as a careers information specialist in higher education before moving into the professional association sector.

Over the years Stephanie has been responsible for leading significant professional learning, digital and data transformation projects and is currently an independent consultant to membership associations.

Stephanie Richardson joined the Board of Trustees in November 2018. Stephanie has 20 years of leadership experience in higher education and membership organisations, beginning originally as a careers information specialist in higher education before moving into the professional association sector.

She has been responsible for leading significant professional learning, service development and marketing and digital and data transformation programmes. Currently, Stephanie works as an independent consultant to membership associations, focusing on professional recognition and improving customer experiences. She is a Chartered Member of the CIPD.

To enhance VTCT’s continued core mission, the new trustees will hold vital positions within VTCT; responsible for overall governance, leadership of the organisation with strategic direction and financial health. The new trustees will be required to fulfil an active role on the VTCT board at its head office in Eastleigh, Hampshire.

VTCT now has twelve trustees, led by Professor Dr Chris Laws as Chair. The expansion will allow the board to concentrate on the organisation’s charitable purposes, whilst providing qualifications and education resources which support the challenges and opportunities faced by learners, educators and businesses.

Alan Woods OBE 100x100Alan Woods OBE, CEO at VTCT and iTEC, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Meri, Stephanie and Jayne to the Board of Trustees at VTCT and iTEC. Alongside their professional skills and expertise, they each bring the dedication and passion needed to help support our mission and charitable objective for the advancement of education for public benefit.

"Our new trustees will significantly add to the already excellent mix of skills the present board of trustees and we’re proud that we’ve been able to attract individuals who are so dynamic and well-respected in their fields.”

Professor Dr. Chris Laws, VTCT’s Chair of the Board of Trustees, said:

“After an extensive open recruitment process, we are delighted to have secured Stephanie, Meri and Jayne as our newest trustees. These three individuals will continue to ensure that VTCT and iTEC go from strength to strength in the pursuit of securing our charitable vision and ensuring learners have a direct line of sight to a job, or have the ability to enhance their career prospects with new and improved skills, demonstrated by world-class qualifications and assessment.”

About VTCT (Vocational Training Charitable Trust): A specialist-awarding organisation offering vocational and technical qualifications in a range of service sectors. VTCT has over 1,900 approved centres globally, with a market share of 63% within the UK hair & beauty sector. VTCT offers smarter support for brighter futures, ensuring the learner is at the heart of our work, through world-class qualifications and education resources.

VTCT’s qualifications span a range of sectors including hairdressing and barbering, beauty therapy, complementary therapy, sports, active health and fitness, hospitality, business and retail, and learning and development.

VTCT collaborated with Smart Apprentices SEPA (Smart End Point Assessment) platform as part of its apprenticeship delivery, a technological advancement for the sector that enables mandatory administration tasks for end-point assessment across 20 apprenticeship programmes, supporting around 10,000 apprentices.

Following the acquisition of the internationally renowned examination board iTEC in 2016, VTCT’s presence continues to expand worldwide.

About iTEC: A specialist awarding organisation with close working partnerships with over 650 approved centres worldwide. ITEC has offices in London, South Africa and Asia Pacific and representation in Ireland and the United States of America.

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