Some of the hairdressing students that took part in the pressure test competition

Hairdressing Students Prepare for Worldskills UK Competition

1 February 2022

Hair and Beauty students at Rotherham College showcased their hard work and creativity through completing a Pressure Test under timed conditions in the Inspire Hair and Beauty salon last week.

Pressure Tests are a method of upskilling and development designed to challenge students to display their industry skills through following a specific criterion under examination.

Pressure Tests are part of the College’s partnership with WorldSkills UK which aims to raise standards in technical training and apprenticeships. WorldSkills UK competitions are designed by industry experts and assess students’ knowledge, practical skills and employability attributes against a set criterion in a competitive, timed environment.

This pressure test was conducted in preparation for the Hairdressing WorldSkills UK competition, as the students were tasked with a brief of creative plaiting, and were marked through visual observation and judge discussion.

As well as being marked on their technical skills in hairdressing and their end-product look, the students also had to display their customer service skills, health and safety knowledge, creativity, attention to detail, innovation and hygiene.

Level 2 students Melissa Roberts (full time) and Lauren Green (part-time) were both awarded first place in the Tuesday and Wednesday pressure tests, as their final plaited looks were highly commended by the judges.

Lauren Green said: “I thoroughly enjoyed doing the focussed pressure test today as it gave us a short, sharp time to complete a look. It was also great to be assessed on plaiting, as this is something I love working on.

“I’m delighted to have been awarded first place, it’s really boosted my confidence for the upcoming WorldSkills UK competition.”

Anne Derbyshire, Hair and Beauty Lecturer said: “These pressure tests really give the students the opportunity to experience what the conditions are like in a WorldSkills UK Competition. We use the same standard of marking so that the students can see their strengths and weaknesses to work on before the competition.

“They all did brilliantly, but the neatness and creativity of the two winning final looks really stood out to the judges. It was very hard to choose a winner in the end, as they all looked fantastic.”

Rotherham College has worked closely with WorldSkills since joining the programme in 2020, where regular competitions, training and the upskilling of students and staff has been an integral part of the partnership.


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