Kingston College is delighted to announce that Hairdressing Apprentice, Lauren Forest-Moore, has been shortlisted for this year’s VQ Learner of the Year.
VQ Day, a National celebration of vocational qualifications for students, teachers and employers, shines a light on and recognises the millions of talented and skilled people throughout the UK who are awarded VQs. “Students like Lauren are very rare,” explained her tutor following her nomination.
Lauren, aged 24 from Thames Ditton, completed a Media Communications degree in May 2010 but then decided to pursue her ultimate ambition to become a hairdresser with the aim to one day work as a self employed session stylist working on television and film sets.
Lauren began her studies at Kingston College in 2011 with an NVQ Level 2 in Hairdressing and took the NVQ Level 3 the following year.
In July 2012, Lauren gave birth to her daughter, Lola, who was born with cystic fibrosis, which was devastating news and Lola’s daily routine of medication and physiotherapy made it impossible for Lauren to leave the house let alone get back to her course and work commitments. With the help of a very supportive family, Arena Salon college tutors and the encouragement from the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital in Fulham where Lola is treated, Lauren continued to juggle her course work, motherhood, and the challenges which it has brought, with her work commitments.
Since completing her course Lauren has continued to go from strength to strength. She has worked on photo shoots in Paris, New York and Milan. Most recently, Lauren worked in Los Angeles on a film set doing all the hair and make-up. She has secured contracts with The Undercover Boss and The Only Way is Essex and also provides high fashion hairstyles for LK Bennett catwalks and advertising campaigns.
A clearly thrilled Lauren expressed her delight, saying: “I felt so touched to be nominated and now I'm more than excited about being selected as a finalist. This just goes to show that all our hard work has paid off! What an achievement for us all!”
Eireann Brooks who nominated Lauren for the award explained why Lauren was chosen: “Despite the challenges Lauren faces on a daily basis, she has a fantastic work ethic, is always smiling and professional and is truly inspirational. The team in the Arena Salon are ecstatic she has reached this level of the competition; we just hope she wins now!”
Following the announcements VQ commented: “We've had some incredible nominees, and truly inspiring stories have come through, demonstrating the outstanding skill, achievement and commitment of vocational learners across all disciplines.”
Those shortlisted are invited to attend the awards ceremony at The Houses of Parliament on 4th June where the overall VQ Learner, sponsored by OCR, and Employer, sponsored by City and Guilds, of the Year awards will be announced by Skills Minister Matthew Hancock.
VQ Day was launched in 2008 to raise the status of practical and vocational learning and celebrate vocational achievement. The 6th annual VQ Day takes place on Wednesday 5th June 2013.