Students from Sunderland College and Northumberland College recently went head-to-head in an inter-college barbering competition.
The event, building on the work of the College as part of the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence pilot, was the first of its kind to be held at City Campus and was designed to prepare salon professional students for the AHT heats and finals taking place later this year.
Throughout the competition the campus’ salons were a hive of activity with eight hopefuls from the two college’s showing off their skills and creativity to impress a panel of industry experts which included MJs Barbers’ Matt Johnson, Grace Tennet from Mr Tennet Barbers and 2020 AHT National Finals gold medal winner Owen Crossley.
Northumberland College’s Frances Currie took first place in the Level 2 Men’s Barbering Cut and Finish competition, which tasked students to produce a commercial style using traditional barbering tapering skills.
On collecting her prize, donated by College Kit Direct, Frances said: “I was extremely anxious and nervous about participating as it was my first competition.
“My tutor Sharon believed in me and entered me into the competition. I had to overcome the nerves and I’m so glad I took part; I certainly didn’t expect to win.
“It has definitely given me the incentive to participate in the national competitions and I am very grateful for the opportunity as well as the fantastic prizes I received.”
The Level 3 challenge – to produce a creative gents cut and finish – was sponsored by Morgan’s Pomade and won by Sunderland College’s Bailie Cooper.
She added: “The competition gave me a massive boost in confidence and has challenged me to compete at the upcoming AHT competition.”
Closing the event, Barbering Lecturer Mark Sowerby, said: “It was such a privilege to host the competition at City Campus, and huge congratulations to Frances and Bailie. It was fitting that on International Women’s Day that both our winners were female.
“I would like to thank the students and staff from both colleges for their commitment and hard work to ensure the day was a success.
“A special thanks goes to our judges Matt, Grace and Owen for their expertise and for doing an incredible – but difficult – job of choosing the winners. Also, thank you to College Kit Direct and Morgan’s Pomade for sponsoring the competition and donating amazing prizes.”
Sunderland College recently celebrated a successful second year of being part of the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence pilot.
The College became just one of 20 chosen to undertake the first of its kind project, with the aim to mainstream excellence in technical education. It is delivered in partnership with leading education services provider NCFE and aims to develop world-class educators who will in turn inspire young people from all backgrounds to take up apprenticeships and technical vocational education.
Staff from key curriculum areas including Construction, Digital, Engineering, Hair and Barbering, and Catering and Hospitality were coached and mentored by Jenna Wrathall Bailey MBE though a continuous professional development programme.
Students across the focus curriculum areas have excelled in their studies, raising their levels of achievement with several participating and winning prestigious regional, national skills competitions organised by WorldSkills UK and other leading organisations.
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