George Hammer to head Habia Skills Academy
Urban Retreat founder George Hammer has been appointed chairman of the newly formed Habia Skills Academy. The academy is a central hub for training in the hair and beauty sector developed by Habia with the support of VTCT. Hammer will be joined on the Habia Skills Academy (HSA) steering group by representatives from both industry and education. Jon Hardwick, managing director of Grafton International, has been appointed vice chairman. Other industry panel members include Justin Musgrove, group spa director of the Bannantyne group and Debbie Dixon, salon director for hair group Sassoon. Steering group members from the education side include Stephen Vickers, chief executive of VTCT; Suki Kalirai, who is director of the Carlton Institute and also chairman of the Spa Business Association; Chris Jeffery, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers' skills champion for hair and beauty; Dawn Ward, chief executive and principal of Burton & South Derbyshire College and the Association of Colleges champion for hair and beauty; Val Kay, VTCT trustee; Nic Robinson, VTCT business development director; Joan Scott, assistant principal of adult learning and skills at South Trafford College; and Bill Shaw, managing director of Dimensions Training. New HSA chairman George Hammer said, 'With the focus clearly on education and training - subjects I am passionate about - I believe that the HSA will make a real and lasting contribution to the future success of our industry.' He added: 'The steering group members and I will be putting forth the case at every opportunity that everyone in the hair and beauty sector should play their part in the HSA, get involved, and help us all work together to put skills training at the very top of the agenda.' The HSA will see the creation of a network of centres of expertise across the UK, with the HSA acting as a virtual online hub for guidance and information, as well as providing specialist training for educators. The HSA said it will work with employers and sector organisations, involving them in the design and delivery of training so it better meets their needs.