Climbing the ladder of success – from apprentice to apprentice employer

Bev Rosser 32, started her hairdressing career at the age of 14 working for a local salon in Old Swan, Liverpool as a Saturday assistant. At 16 she started an apprenticeship with Mode – one of the first apprentices Mode ever recruited.

Passionate and talented

Fast forward 18 years – Bev is now the proud owner of Rosser Hairdressing in a leafy cosmopolitan Liverpool district, nestled amongst classy local independent shops.

Bev has always been passionate about hairdressing and this shines through her enthusiasm and the outstanding customer service she provides with her team. 

Current trends

Bev and her award winning team have worked hard to create a valued brand and a unique client experience since opening in May 2016.  

A former winner of Redken Style Innovator Award, her knack of adapting current trends, along with her experience of travelling the country as part of Paul Mitchell art team, have developed Bev into one of the region’s finest young hairdressers.

Window Logos

Her much-discussed distinctive seasonal window logos are a hit with clients and her followers on social media. She is currently running a competition for local artists to design her next display.

Training stylist of the future

Bev is passionate about training and development with her team and has a keen eye for spotting talent. She has recently employed Demi, initially giving her the opportunity to progress from an alternative education programme onto a traineeship. Within weeks with hard work and support from all the team Bev was in the position to offer Demi a hairdressing apprenticeship.

Mode are proudly supporting Bev to realise her dream of expanding the salon and employing more professional stylists, we wish her the best of luck for the future.

If you would like more information on Rosser Hair visit their website for up to date offers and images follow them on Instagram

GMLPF workshop tackles issues highlighted by Ofsted as needing focus

Greater Merseyside Learning Providers’ Federation (GMLPF) is calling on further education providers to wise up on safeguarding issues.

The local umbrella organisation for skills providers is warning that a ‘tick box’ approach will not result in meaningful ways to reduce the risks posed by radicalisation and extremism.

GMLPF will host a CPD workshop later this month titled ‘Prevent, Safeguarding & British Values: What is Ofsted looking for?

The government published the Prevent strategy in 2011 as part of its overall counter-terrorism strategy. Prevent duty guidance for the further education and skills sector was then introduced in September 2015. This requires all further education and skills providers in England to ‘have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’.

British values are a set of values which were introduced to keep young people safe and promote their welfare. Institutions are expected to encourage students to respect other people and use their leadership to exemplify British values in their management.

Ofsted report

However, an Ofsted report in 2016 highlighted that a number of further education providers are not implementing the Prevent duty successfully.

At the workshop on Wednesday 25 January, GMLPF will help skills providers understand what they are expected to do to fulfil Ofsted requirements and how to keep learners safe.

30 years’ experience

Delivered by Trevor Alley, who has over 30 years’ experience in the further education sector, the workshop will offer providers an informative resource on how to implement and evaluate new strategies; pastoral support and outline Ofsted’s requirements and expectations.

Joanne Rymer, membership development manager at GMLPF, says: “While it is impossible to shield pupils from all forms of extremism and discrimination, we believe that equipping staff with the right tools will allow them to recognise the signs and deal with any issues as and when they arise. It is not enough to simply tick a box to say that your staff have undergone training; it’s about understanding the nature of specific risks in the local community.

“Safeguarding young people is a job for us all and this workshop will detail not only what Ofsted are looking for but how providers can demonstrate the impact their strategies are having on learners.

“Empowering young people to understand the risks that are out there, particularly in the digital realm, is more vital than ever. Those working in education need to put safeguarding and British values at the heart of what they do to ensure success and promote diversity and equality.”

CPD workshops

This workshop is the latest in a series of CPD workshops that are proving popular with GMLPF members.

Emma Sinnett from member Mode Training, says: “GMLPF’s latest CPD workshops are a cost effective way to implement staff development and ensure that new practices and standards are maintained within the skills sector. The workshops focus on different hot topics within the skills sector to maximise staff potential, improve staff morale and promote best practice; we have found them thoroughly engaging and informative so far.”

The workshop will take place on Wednesday 25 January, 9.00 – 16.00. For further information and tickets, please visit:

For all booking enquiries please contact [email protected]

Robust workforce development support for engineering firm

Abbey Engineering is based on Knowsley Industrial Park. Employing 73 people, the firm works across many industries including automotive, rail and pharmaceutical. Services are provided to major clients ranging from Cammel Laird to Network Rail, meaning that for the right individuals the company can offer great career progression.

Abbey Engineering has been recruiting apprentices for more than five years but this has recently been expanded across all eight areas of their business. During the last 18 months Pat Milligan, HR Manager, has been championing the futures of young people through the proactive recruitment of Apprenticeships.

Following an approach from GMLPF member, Mode, two successful apprentices have been working alongside the finance, sales and purchasing teams.

Winning Formula

Pat explains the formula for success: ‘Mode really grasped our business from day one. They were so professional in the way they approached me that I wanted to hear more about what they had to say. I know that if the apprentices lived up to Mode’s expectations, they’d meet ours too, and would be a real winner for our business.

At present we have two employees that joined us as apprentices via Mode. Both having successfully completed their apprenticeship and been awarded an NVQ Level 2. It’s very humbling to see young people with such professionalism and enthusiasm rise to the challenge of making an impact on the bottom line at Abbey. But that is exactly what they have done.

Chloe, aged 22, now has practical experience of both our finance and purchasing departments and has worked hard to achieve her intermediate apprenticeship in Business Administration. Her work ethic and willingness to take on responsibility has earned her a secure full time job with us. Her approach has been exemplary, with her even writing a proposal regarding why she is an asset to us and should be kept on.

Liam, aged 18 has done nothing short of an amazing job in our sales team. With Mode’s guidance he has, in a very short space of time, been awarded his own customer accounts to look after on a day-to-day basis, making sure client needs are met, generating quotes and following up on enquiries to bring new business in. That’s a big achievement for somebody so young.’ At the time or writing, Liam is just finalising his intermediate apprenticeship in Customer Service.

Steps to Success

Best results are achieved when the student, employer and training provider work together collaboratively. This happens in many ways between Mode and Abbey and hinges on a good flow of information.

At the exploratory stage, Mode was able to demonstrate that they grasped the company ethic and the calibre of apprentice that was required. Pat takes a strong view that the recruitment process is only the first step to success. She adds: ‘Each time the assessor visits I review the Apprentice’s portfolio. This means that the apprentices are always on track and the business needs are being met. And even before that we have a buddy programme to mentor young people in their first weeks and months at the company.’

Getting involved with Apprenticeships has enhanced the robustness of the workforce and succession planning at Abbey Engineering. It also helps fulfil the company’s corporate social responsibility goals which manifest as employing local people and flying the flag for young talent.

Talent Retention

Pat admits that apprentices and employers are not always seen in such a positive light: ‘Our apprentices are taken on with a proper wage to acknowledge their position in the workforce. I appreciate that this might not always be possible with smaller companies, but with Mode, apprentices really can add value to a business in a short space of time. If a young person can see an opportunity for progression, they are more likely to put the effort in to making a difference. Mode coach the youngsters on how to be professional and proactive. To me they are a benchmark training provider.’

Chris Jones, Managing Director at Abbey Engineering adds: ‘The Apprentices in our business are making a positive impact. We’re constantly looking for ways to bring in and develop young people as they form a large part of our future – and us theirs I hope – as talent retention is a priority in such a competitive market.’

Since the first Mode apprentices began at Abbey Engineering, the company has embarked on a further partnership with the training provider. The training provided by Mode has extended into skilling up the wider workforce in leadership, management approaches, telephone technique and customer service. There are currently 15 employees across Abbey’s business studying for the Institute of Leadership and Management’s apprenticeship in team leading.

The Next Step

By joining GMLPF you will benefit from free publicity. We’re always on the look-out for interesting stories about learning and skills to include under the GMLPF banner in magazines, newspapers and on our website.

Knowsley Challenge

In August, we sponsored a double page spread in the Knowsley Challenge paper, entitled ‘The Next Step’, outlining options at 16. Case studies and news were included from a range of GMLPF members including tpm, Mode Training, Fit UK, Myerscough College, St Helens College and Progress Sports.

Educate magazine

The September edition of Educate magazine also saw us putting the spotlight on the activity of members through Mapped Out, and North Liverpool Community College had a dedicated news story about the success of a wellbeing programme ‘You Only Live Once’.

Having your stories in print not only gives you valuable media exposure but also gives your students and staff a boost. So once you’ve joined up make sure to get in touch with our PR team via [email protected]

Mode tutor is UK winner of Revlon Style Masters competition

Mode hairdressing tutor, Joanne McCormick has been named UK winner of Revlon’s Style Masters International Competition.

And the winner is ……

Graham Oakes national sales manager for UK & Ireland along with salon account manager Matt Carrigan, Clare Holmes national education manager and Sandra Rivera, marketing intern UK made the journey from London to surprise Joanne with the announcement during a Mode team meeting. As the UK winner of this years Style Masters competition,  Joanne will join 70 country winners competing for the global winners crown and prize fund worth more than 10,000 euros at the final in Rome next month.

Inspiring our students

To add to the excitement Mode hairdressing tutor Michael Flood was awarded UK 3rd place in the same competition, an amazing achievement considering both tutors only entered so they could empower our students in preparation for next years competition.

Graham Oakes said “The standard of entrants this year had been outstanding, Michael and Joanne’s achievement should be celebrated I am confident the creativity and flair in their work will inspire Mode students to follow in their tutors footsteps.”

University a hit for music students

You might find it hard to imagine a group of young people, left disillusioned by school, suddenly deciding that they want to go on to higher education.  That’s exactly what happened with a group of young Key2Apprenticeship (K2A)students from GMLPF member Mode Training when they visited Staffordshire University. One of Mode’s popular K2A courses is Music Technology – students get a taste of what life would be like producing music, DJ’ing or being part of a band – even if they didn’t get any qualifications at school.  The course is designed to help young people gain the skills they need to start a career in the music industry

Pathway to university

During their time at Mode, students can achieve an NVQ Level 2 in Music Technology, but that’s not quite enough to get them onto a university course, and many don’t see higher education as something suited to them anyway. The team at Mode are setting about changing that view and the training centre, based on Sefton Street in Liverpool, is developing a pathway to university. Students who complete their level 2 Music Technology will be able to progress onto the Level 3. This qualification will provide an entry route to a degree in Music Technology, as an alternative to the traditional A-level route All that may sound like a bit of an uphill struggle for students who weren’t over enamoured by their school years, so when Mode were invited to visit Staffs Uni they took 15 K2A students along.

Solid career path

Lee Garry, a former K2A student who now works as an assessor with Mode explains: ‘The degree focuses on practical skills and the students we took to the university realised the facilities and the teaching were fantastic.’ Whilst the students were visiting they got to produce a music track so that it was release-ready. Lee adds: ‘The atmosphere at the uni was very different to school and our students were excited about the studios being available round-the-clock.  They came back even more focused and feeling that a degree and a solid career path was something within their reach’.

Track record

Wesley Tagoe at Mode added: ‘The music production course at Mode has a track record of success with many former students going on to become self employed in the music industry; and soon we hope to see some progressing to university.  The earlier young people come to us for help, the more effective we can be in securing their future’.

Mode Training is just one of many places young people can access training, support and qualifications.  Nobody should be put off getting in touch even if they didnt succeed at school or get any qualifications.

The Key2Apprenticeships programme is for 16-18 year olds. Anybody who wants to discuss their future is urged to get in touch on 0151 707 8775  to find out what courses are available.  Whilst on a K2A course, benefits arent affected, lunch is provided and some providers will also meet travel costs.

The Key2Apprenticeships programme is funded by Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation [GMLPF].

Prioritising student health & wellbeing

Students taking part in Key to Apprenticeship programmes run by GMLPF member, Mode are benefitting from new wellbeing aspects that have been added to their training courses.

Mode is piloting the initiative with students on both its Key to Apprenticeships programmes: Music and Hairdressing. The two-phase approach to improving students’ self-awareness includes firstly helping them to gain a better understanding of their own health and wellbeing, and then to help them develop increased mindfulness – a meditation technique that is increasingly popular and has shown to help young people manage stress.

Positive impact on achieving goals

Mode have always recognized the importance of promoting healthy lifestyle choices to young people. This project is laying the foundations that good physical and psychological wellbeing has a positive impact on achieving goals and ensuring success. At the end of the six-week programme, students progress to weekly mediation sessions to continue their wellbeing development.

Positive change in attitude

Debbie Tagoe, director at Mode, said: “It’s clear to me that the extra support we’re providing to our students by including these wellbeing modules is really worthwhile. When you look at statistics like Childline’s recent figures showing that they had 34,000 consultations with suicidal children last year, it’s obvious that any measures that we can take as training providers to maximise our students’ wellbeing can only be a good thing. Since the start of our pilot we have seen a positive change in attitude from our students – they are a lot more relaxed and want to participate in group activities more.”


Speaking about the pilot, student Tia Johnson, said: “The sessions with Saeed are awesome – I loved the mediation part the best, it made me feel much calmer and also think about how I can improve my wellbeing.”

Positive message

Creator of the programme, Saeed Olayiwola from SO Health, concludes: “Training providers have a captive young audience and this programme presents an ideal opportunity for them to support young people to lead a healthy lifestyle physically and psychologically. By being the first training provider to embrace this programme, Mode has sent a positive message to their young people that they are committed to their overall health and wellbeing and are making them feel more valued, as well as helping to support the national Government vision for a healthier nation.”

GMLPF Apprenticeship Reform Planning Implementation Group 11/7/14

The first meeting of the GMLPF Apprenticeships Reform Implementation Planning Group took place last week.

Brian Quinn (tpm) and GMLPF Chair Debbie Tagoe (Mode Training) provided an overview of the Reforms to date, and GMLPF activity over the past months including:

  • Coordination with NWPN of regional employer responses to Government consultation
  • Lobbying: meetings with MPs and Councillors

The group discussed terms of reference and objectives which will be formalised and shared on the GMLPF website. Broadly, the group will be pushing for the detail of the landscape under the new reforms to enable members to prepare effectively. They will identify the key critical points which will impact on delivery and feed these through to members, local authorities and other local and regional groups/meetings with partners and MPs.

Discussion points

The following points were made/discussed:

  • Members of the group are representing the sector as a whole, not their respective organisations
  • Apprentices and employers to be invited onto the group to ensure their voices are represented
  • Importance of having a representative from a trailblazer on the group
  • Dedicated blog section on GMLPF site to post updates on activities/actions of the group
  • Group to take responsibility of keeping local employers informed via GMLPF blog about the development of reforms and their impact
  • Potential areas of focus in coming months: group agreed on some examples of specific areas of focus: quality, NEET, LLDD, Ofsted
  • Development of case studies to illustrate success that is at threat under new reforms
  • Communications responsibilities of the group to include: keeping members informed of progress keeping employers informed, and raising awareness of the issues/impact of reform

Members of the group are: James Glendenning (GMLPF) Brian Quinn (tpm), Debbie Tagoe (Mode), Pavlina Kiakides (GMLPF), Doreen Hesketh (Winning Pitch), Angela Owens (Hugh Baird), Paul Sheron (NWCS), Bev Doughty (Southport College), Martin Knight (ESG Group), Hilary Comaish (The Training Station) ,Adam Gilbert (Asset Training), Paul Feaver (Riverside LEC), Joan Furnival (NWCS) and Alison Gibson (Michael John Academy).

The group will meet each month.

Dylan Jones winner of Sefton Apprentice of the Year

High proportion of LCR Apprenticeship Award winners supported by independent providers

Many of the winning apprentices and employers in this year’s Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Awards received support from GMLPF’s independent, smaller training provider members.

The prestigious awards, which were held on 20th June at Lord Derby’s Estate in Knowsley, recognised and celebrated the achievements of Liverpool City Region’s most accomplished apprentices and committed employers. These included winners supported by the following GMLPF independent smaller learning provider members:

  • Dylan Jones (pictured above with Emma Sinnett from award sponsor, Mode Training) won the title of Sefton Apprentice of the Year 2014, trained and supported by Asset Training
  • Jess Lowry won the title of Liverpool Apprentice of the Year 2014, trained and supported by Mode Training
  • Melissa Murphy won the title of Knowsley Apprentice of the Year 2014, trained and supported by The Training Station
  • Bethany West won The Peter McEvoy Award for Overcoming Adversity, trained and supported by Riverside Learning and Education Centre
  • Sarah Noonan Hairdressing won the New Employer of the Year Award, with training and support provided by Mode Training

Also worthy of mention are GMLPF member, tpm, who had 2 out of 3 finalists in the SME Apprentice of the Year category and a finalist for The Peter McEvoy Award. Other GMLPF members with finalists included Michael John Academy and North West Training Council

Training provider role

James Glendenning, CEO of GMLPF, highlights how the achievements of the winning apprentices and employers are outstanding in their own right but also a reflection of the standard of training and support provided by the region’s highly effective and proficient training providers and colleges.

“Sometimes the role that training providers play in the Apprenticeships jigsaw is overlooked. These organisations provide the professional training to the high industry standards required by the Apprenticeship programme, tailoring their services to meet the individual needs of apprentices, and also to fit in with employers’ varied and diverse operating environments.

Unswerving dedication

“Providing this level of intensive support is challenging at the best of times, operating within an arena where policy change and funding upheaval are constant factors. It’s particularly hard for the smaller, independent training provider which is why I’m delighted that so many of them have winners in this year’s Awards, reflecting these organisations’ unswerving dedication to facilitating successful futures for our region’s young people.

“The Government’s proposed Apprenticeships Reforms spell even more challenges ahead but I have no doubt that these training providers will continue to deliver the highest quality Apprenticeships training and support for apprentices and employers in our region.”