A national group set up to promote excellence in training for the hair and beauty industry has been discussing the way forward at Uxbridge College.

Members of the Association of Colleges' (AoC) Skills Strategy Group and representatives of Habia, the Government's Skills Sector Council for the industry, met at Uxbridge College, where their visit included a tour of the College's training salons at the Hayes Community Campus.

The visit was hosted by Laraine Smith, Principal of Uxbridge College, who is a Skills Champion for Hair and Beauty on the AoC's Skills Strategy Group.

Laraine was invited to join the group following the College's outstanding award from Ofsted in May 2008.

Laraine said: "Hosting this meeting was a great opportunity for our students to showcase some of their work, and for our visitors to see how the work we do here helped lead to our outstanding award from Ofsted. Training at Uxbridge College is not just about helping individuals achieve qualifications - it is about supporting the whole industry as well.

"On this occasion students' work included perming and hot stone therapy, both of which are offered as addition to the core curriculum required for students to achieve their NVQ qualifications.

"Uxbridge College also intends to host a small scale national conference for college hair and beauty managers and teaching staff as part of its work with the AoC's Skills Strategy Group."

As part of the work by the AoC's Skills Strategy Groups, skills champions will work together to support the industry with aims including finding ways to:

* Promote best practice in hair and beauty across all college providers

* Develop an effective approach to communications between Habia and college providers

* Develop a collaborative approach to the qualification review process.

Skills Sector Councils such as Habia are tasked with leading on the national workforce development strategies for their respective industries.


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