Warwickshire College students Phoebe Bushnell, Kiah Matthews and Rachel Quinney have reached the finals of the prestigious WorldSkills UK competition, which takes place at The Skills Show from 13-15 November at the NEC in Birmingham.
Hairdressing student Rachel won a regional heat organised by L’Oreal in Stoke-on-Trent to claim her place in the Advanced Hairdressing final, where she will have to demonstrate a range of skills including colouring, cutting, restyling and dressing long hair, over the course of three days.
Rachel, 20, from Redditch, has just completed a Level 3 Diploma in Hairdressing and is embarking on a Foundation Degree in Hairdressing Management at Henley-in-Arden College. She said, “To get through to the final in the Advanced category is fantastic for me. I competed in the Intermediate category final at the NEC last year, so I have had some experience which hopefully will stand me in good stead in November, as I’ll know what to expect.”
Jo Mills, hairdressing lecturer at Warwickshire College, said, “Rachel’s practical skills are brilliant and she has a real flair for hair. She listens and does exactly what she is advised to do and she works incredibly hard.
“The whole group and team are supporting Rachel in the competition and we will be going along to the Skills Show to cheer her on. I am very proud of her and I know she has the ability to do well – we wish her every success for the competition.”
Theatrical make-up students Kiah Matthews and Phoebe Bushnell have both made it through to the WorldSkills UK Intermediate Media Make-up competition after impressing the judges at the regional heat at the NEC Beauty Show. For the final they will have to create a look based on the history of fashion.
Kiah, 18, from Coventry, has recently completed her make-up course and is now studying hairdressing at Rugby College. She said, “When I heard I had won my heat, I nearly cried – I just wasn’t expecting it. We had to wait a while to find out if we had made it through, which was nerve-wracking, but now we can look forward to the final.”
Phoebe Bushnell, 18 from Stratford-upon-Avon, is studying theatrical make-up at Henley-in-Arden College. She said, “I’m really looking forward to the final. I’m sure we’ll be putting in lots of extra hours over the next few weeks as we prepare, but it will all be worth it if we can produce our best.”
Kelly Taylor, lecturer in Theatrical Make-up at Warwickshire College, said, “I am so proud of Kiah and Phoebe – they have done brilliantly and worked so hard. Competitions are very intense but they both coped really well under the pressure.
“We’ll be giving them all the support we can in the run-up to the finals where I’m sure they’ll do their best and make us all even prouder of them.”
Warwickshire College offers a range of hairdressing, beauty and theatrical make-up courses in Rugby, Henley-in-Arden and Leamington – for more information call 0300 45 600 49 or go to www.warwickshire.ac.uk.