Walsall College has experienced a huge increase in the number of students applying for its Hairdressing, Beauty and Catering courses at open days this year and expects another influx of enquiries at its next open evening on Thursday 17th March, 4-7pm.
The college has received 40% more applications for these service industry courses starting in September 2016, in comparison to applications received for the same period at open days during the last year academic year (2014/15).
Head of Curriculum for Services to People courses at Walsall College, Amanda Richards, said: “I think it’s no coincidence that this surge in interest is in line with increase in video blogs on social media over the last year, which show the creativity that can be achieved with hairdressing, beauty and catering skills and techniques.
“Whether it’s the latest hair styles, beauty trends or new recipes that are being posted, young people are being inspired by what they see and it’s helping them to make decisions on the careers they wish to pursue and the vocational subjects that will help them achieve their goals.”
These sectors are also showing positive signs of growth, with forecast data indicating employment is expected to rise by 3% in hospitality and catering industries and 4% in the hair and beauty sector, across the West Midlands between now and 2022*.
Amanda adds: “People will always have a desire to look good and eat well, and want a good experience at the same time. At Walsall College our courses are geared towards preparing students for the real challenges they will face in these industries, and our commercial training facilities and links with employers help students to get to the top of their chosen sector.”
Former Walsall College Beauty student, Giorgi-Lee Baker was offered a job as a beauty therapist with Steiner Cruises before she had even finished her course. She said: “Gaining practical experience working in the college’s onsite beauty salon and providing treatments to clients, really helped to increase my confidence and pushed me to develop my skills.
“If I wasn’t working as a beauty therapist I don’t know what else I would do, as making clients feel
good about themselves is something I really love, and one day I hope to have my own salon. But for now I’m just enjoying travelling the world.”
Alice Cheeseman started as an hairdressing apprentice, and now, only a few years later, she owns her own salon. She said: “I loved the fact that I was in a real working salon with real clients and earning a wage at the same time.
“The course set me up to run my own salon and I don’t think I would have achieved this so quickly if it hadn’t been for the apprenticeship.”
Former Hospitality and Catering student, Robert Potter took his a passion for cooking and turned it into a career; as a head chef of a Michelin star restaurant. He said: “At first I was a little daunted by the idea of working towards a career, but the course taught me a lot of new skills, about the industry in general and gave me the confidence to work in a professional kitchen.
“There’s something very satisfying about cooking food to high standards for people to enjoy.”
The college offers a number of full-time, part-time, higher education and apprenticeship courses in areas including women’s hairdressing, barbering, beauty and spa therapy, media make-up, nail technology and professional cookery.
To find out more or to apply, attend the open day on Thursday 17th March, 4pm – 7pm. A presentation on the benefits of apprenticeships will be delivered at 5pm at the college’s Wisemore Campus. To beat the queues, pre-register at www.walsallcollege.ac.uk/planmyvisit
* Source: Market Intelligence Data Exchange Service (MiDES)