22 March 2016

Ten hair and media make-up students took part in the sub-regional World Skills competition hosted at the Retford Post-16 Centre recently by North Notts College.

North Notts College hosted the new initiative called Prep EM at the Retford Post-16 Centre last week, during National Apprenticeship Week.

This is a new initiative that is run in conjunction with emfec on behalf of the Association of Colleges East Midlands and VTCT examining body who have come together to form this project, the first of its kind in this region. The aim is to make the students more work ready for competition and to gain experience when competing, the top candidates achieving the highest marks in the heats will be invited to the UK final.

Students from various colleges took part in the Prep EM initiative to prepare them for the national and regional World Skills Championships later in the year.  Ten students from Chesterfield College, Derby College and North Notts College (NNC) were the first to take part and competed in an inter-college challenge to decide the winner of the East Midland sub-regional.

The students were given a brief and the theme for this sub-regional heat was ‘Fantasy’. This was a ‘live’ competition of three hours and included half body make-up (50% of body), following compulsory criteria and costume.

Two external judges were taken from a panel of judges drawn from industry, colleges and training providers, Derrick Fennay, a freelance wig specialist for theatre, film and TV, and Sarah Harrison, a freelance make-up artist.

Competitors were judged on set up/personal appearance, health and safety, creative ideas through mood board (including a face chart), hair styling and face and body application, application/technique/dramatic impact and overall effect of makeup/finished result.

The top candidates achieving the highest marks in the heats will be invited to the UK final.

Sarah Harrison commented:

“There is a good standard and quality of work and I can’t see much difference in the levels of students as we have candidates from Level 2 and Level 3 in Theatrical, Special effects and Hair and Media Make-up. The students are working hard and safely in their work areas, a vital factor when working in the media industry.

“This is an excellent experience for the students as they have to think about health and safety and cleanliness whilst working in the real world and this will help them to incorporate it automatically into their training.”

Sarah, a previous student at NNC, is self-employed and takes master classes for Level 3 students concentrating on improving their techniques.

“I have kept in touch with my Retford training roots since qualifying and it is a real pleasure to be invited back as a judge for this competition.”


The winner of the East Midlands sub-region was Stacey Hughes from North Notts College with her Mermaid creation.  She said:

“I’ve really enjoyed the competition and didn’t feel too much under pressure with being assessed as have had previous experience with it.  I also learnt new skills coming into the competition by making my own latex pieces so am really pleased with the result and to come first was just the icing on the cake."

Runner up was Enya James from Chesterfield College with her Woodland Pixie.

Karen Connole, organiser of the event and tutor on the course commented; “ All the students worked so well together today, getting stuck in with determination and grace, I’m really proud of them all.  They have been a credit to each college and the quality of the work they have produced has been of an excellent standard.  I think they should all be very proud of themselves.”

Other Prep EM competitions taking place across the region during the week included motor vehicle challenges at Central College Nottingham, construction events at Tresham College, and engineering and welding competitions at West Nottinghamshire College.