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Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes – Claire’s Apprenticeship Story

Claire Pye, our very own Head of Sales is hugely passionate about all things Apprenticeships. She tells us about her journey and how it’s built her enthusiasm…

“After sitting (well falling asleep) in some work experience in a primary school I decided it wasn’t for me! So where did I go or what did I do?? After lots of thoughts I confirmed my extended work experience in a salon, with the view to become a Media Make-up artist! But in those days you had to be 25 to train so Hairdressing it was first!

Work experience led to Saturday work and lots of trips carrying heavy towels to the launderette (it’s not all glamorous at first!). My first choice was to go to Full time college and I secured a place there. Until my boss in the salon asked if I had thought about an apprenticeship? Earning while learning, it was a winner! So I started on one of the ‘old’ Modern Apprenticeships.

I completed an Advanced Apprenticeship in Level 3 Hair. Alongside this, I completed Beauty courses in areas including Reflexology as well as my Assessors Award. This led to part-time teaching hours alongside a role as a Salon Manager.

After working as a part-time lecturer for a few years, I secured a post as Programme Manager for Hair/Beauty Apprenticeships at my local college, a place I stayed for a total of 23 years, progressing to Head of Division of Hair/Beauty for the last 18 years.

In 2020 I was successful in securing the post of Head of Transitions, Hair, Beauty and Employability at the College, a role that gave me exposure to a wide range of curriculum areas and assessment processes. I led a nationally recognised Transition model and worked on various T Level pathways. I also led the Work Experience and Industry placements for the whole college group. Alongside this I also worked as an Examiner and Moderator.

In Nov 2021, I joined iTEC/VTCT as a Partnership Planning Manager,  supporting centres by assisting with any aspect of the implementation of the curriculum. Then within a year, I was promoted to Head of Sales UK North.

I now work as part of the wider amazing Sales team, am so lucky to manage ‘Team North’ and every day get to support a variety of students and staff in centres from Bristol to Dundee and beyond!

I came out of school with good GCSEs and to be honest some people were surprised I went to train to be a Hairdresser. But WHY not!! I was told at Primary school in one school report that the world was my oyster. My apprenticeship, the people and teachers who supported me and the opportunities Hairdressing has given me means it really was!”

Explore the latest Apprenticeships news from VTCT Group.