Up to the challenge

Ten Queen Charlotte College pupils took a step towards the working world yesterday, demonstrating organisation and skill to compete in a hairdressing competition.

They are taking part in the Top of the South Trades Academy hairdressing programme, which aims to provide them with practical skills and experience in a realistic working environment.

Yesterday, the girls put four weeks of research and preparation into action, with 30 minutes on the floor at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology Blenheim campus to put their "look" together.

Hairdressing co-ordinating tutor Linda Heath said the "Great Gatsby" assessment was designed to challenge the pupils to choose a look and recreate it on a real model. The theme they had been given was The Great Gatsby, and the girls watched the film, studying the costumes, make-up and hair styles worn by the characters.

The assessment was to be judged by industry experts, who would base the majority of their score on the hairdressing element, but would also give a percentage to the overall look, Heath said.

First, second, and third placed Marlborough pupils would then be judged against the first three placed Nelson pupils to decide on an overall winner.

Heath, who runs the course in both Marlborough and Nelson, said the aim of the course was to provide smaller areas with the same standard of training as provided in the cities. It was the first year the course had been provided in Marlborough.

Trade Academy Marlborough co-ordinator Carolyn Pudney said year 12 and 13 pupils from Queen Charlotte and Marlborough Boys' and Girls' Colleges were enrolled in the scheme.

There were four trade options available, hairdressing, automotive engineering, primary industries and aviation training, and each attended their trades course for one day per week. They each gained unit standards toward a national qualification, such as a National Certificate in Trade, and credits towards their NCEA qualifications.

The Marlborough Express