Dame Louise Ellman MP visited The City of Liverpool College’s Duke Street Centre to meet Alan Woods OBE, Chief Executive of the Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT), Elaine Bowker, Principal at the College, and the team that deliver VTCT’s technical qualifications and apprenticeships to learners in Riverside.
During their visit, Dame Louise and Alan discussed the importance of technical education to the UK’s economy, and the crucial role it can play in tackling poverty and deprivation. They also met with a number of learners who are studying for VTCT’s qualifications and apprenticeships in Level 2 Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy and Barbering, and had the opportunity to watch them in action, testing out their skills in training.
In light of recent revelations by Ofsted that Level 2 service industry courses including beauty and hair were identified by colleges as giving learners the ‘greatest chance’ of progressing into employment, both Dame Louise and Alan had the opportunity to hear first-hand why so many young people are choosing to start a career in this sector, which is a thriving space for young aspirational professionals seeking a long-term career in the industry.
Dame Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool, Riverside, said:
“Thanks to VTCT and the staff and learners at The City of Liverpool College for having me today. It was great to look around the College’s hair and beauty training facilities and find out more about how VTCT’s technical qualifications and apprenticeships are upskilling learners in my constituency.
“Providing our young people with high quality education and technical training is crucial to ensuring they have the skills they need to take up new jobs in our economy, to boosting social mobility in areas that have been left behind and to tackling the UK’s marked skills gap.
“The City of Liverpool College is a vital provider of technical education in our city, and I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to speak to learners about their skills and future career aspirations. We must drive a culture shift to promote technical qualifications and apprenticeships as valuable routes into rewarding careers.”
Alan Woods OBE, Chief Executive of VTCT, said:
“I was delighted to meet Dame Louise and speak with the learners who are working hard towards completing our technical qualifications and apprenticeships.
“VTCT is leading in the provision of high-quality technical awards and assessments and it was fantastic to demonstrate our hugely valuable work to Dame Louise.
“The Government must lead from the top by promoting the value of technical and vocational education, and by making sure that colleges like The City of Liverpool College, and the employers they works with, are able to fund and accommodate the three-month work placement requirement of the new T Levels.
“This will be crucial in ensuring that the Government’s post-16 Skills Plan achieves its intention of delivering lasting change within our technical education and apprenticeships system.”
Elaine Bowker, Principal, The City of Liverpool College, said:
“It was a pleasure to welcome Dame Louise to The City of Liverpool College today to showcase the range of VTCT courses we deliver to learners, helping to ensure they are equipped with the skills they need to pursue their career of choice.
“Providing young people with the opportunity to develop their technical and professional skills, through high-quality qualifications, is essential to helping them achieve their full potential.”
About The Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT): A leading provider of technical qualifications and apprenticeships, specialising in awards and assessments in a range of service sectors including: Hairdressing and Barbering, Beauty Therapy, Complementary Therapy, Sport, Active Health and Fitness, Hospitality, Business and Retail, and Learning and Development. It has 1,300 approved qualification centres throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as an increasing international presence. VTCT has also recently secured a 63% market share within the hair and beauty qualification sector.
About The City of Liverpool College: First opened in 1992, at the time known as Liverpool Community College, following an amalgamation of the previous four existing colleges across the city, the College now serves more than a third of all 16 to 18-year olds in Liverpool and educates almost 20,000 students a year, across 500 academic and vocational courses.
The College works closely with partners and stakeholders across the city, from large corporations and Liverpool City Council to local training providers and employers in the private, public and voluntary sectors. Working closely with businesses in the city allows the College to give all students practical work experience in its wide range of further education courses, keep up to date with the needs of employers, and ensure students are equipped with the skills to find employment and succeed.
A total of 850 of Dame Louise’s constituents are studying for VTCT’s qualifications, 587 of which are undertaking training at The City of Liverpool College. The College offers learners the opportunity to study for a wide range of VTCT qualifications, including Level 1 to 3 qualifications in Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing and Barbering, and in sports and active leisure. Those learners studying VTCT qualifications in Beauty Therapy and Hairdressing take part in competitions across the country, including Worldskills and AHT Nationals.