Publications: June 2019

Washington hairdresser and TV star hopes to highlight her potential

Still flying-high after reaching the finals of BBC TV contest Hair, trainee north east hairdresser, Meggan George, hopes to be a cut above the rest at a hair styling competition next month.

The twenty-one year old from Washington hopes the experience she gained in the BBC challenge will help her win 1st Degree Training’s annual competition on 6 September. Meggan is training to be a hairdresser through the firm, which helps young people earn qualifications whilst working.

Meggan said: “1st Degree Training is amazing and have helped me a lot. Previously I’ve been to two other colleges and felt like I wasn’t learning, but I can’t fault 1st Degree.”

1st Degree Training is a member of North East Learning Providers (NELP), which is a network of organisations that deliver work-based training to young people and adults across the region.

Speaking about the competition, Meggan added: “I’m so excited! There’s different rounds and I’ve been preparing for a few weeks.”

Meggan recently starred in the BBC TV series ‘Hair’, which aimed to find Britain’s best amateur hair stylist. Although Meggan didn’t win, she did make the final five, and hopes her experience will help her in 1st Degree Training competition.

She added: “I feel like I have a second chance to redeem myself and show people what I can really do. I want to win more than anything and I’m a lot more prepared than I was for Hair.”

Meggan’s entering the colour, cut, bridal and photography rounds, and says she wants to concentrate on styles that she didn’t do on the BBC series.

Managing Director of NEETA, which owns 1st Degree Training, and vice chair of North East Learning Providers, Susan Briganti, said: “Our annual hair styling competition is always an exciting event but this year there’s an even bigger buzz about it because Meggan has shown the whole country how skilled she is, so she’s seen as the one to beat.”

The competition will be held at Wallsend Memorial Hall and over 50 learners will be taking part.

North East Learning Providers (NELP) is a network of local training providers. Members include independent training providers, colleges, employers, local authorities and voluntary organisations that operate within Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, Durham, Sunderland and South Tyneside. It aims to promote, represent and support its members and the training sector as a whole.

NELP works closely with the training sector’s funding bodies including the Skills Funding Agency and the National Apprenticeship Service. Its members deliver vocational training for hundreds of employers and thousands of learners throughout the north east region.

NELP is a not for profit organisation. For more information about NLP and how to join go to

NELP member Springboard hits major milestone


Helping 35,000 young people improve their lives and surviving four whole decades in the UK training sector is no mean feat but one of our longstanding members, Springboard, has made it look easy.

It was 1975 and Queen were topping the charts with Bohemian Rhapsody when Springboard first opened its doors. The Trust started out in 1975 in a basement in Toward Road in Sunderland with a handful of staff and a turnover of £200k.

Forty years on, the organisation has a turnover of £7m, 100 employees, and 12 training centres in Sunderland, South Tyneside, Peterlee and Hartlepool.

The catalyst for Springboard Trust being set-up was a government report that revealed 54% of Wearside youngsters were unemployed and 48% had no qualifications. The Trust was originally a joint initiative between Sunderland Social Services and national volunteering provider, Community Service Volunteers.
The organisation offers personalised training programmes, mainly in child and elderly care, as well as technical skills and community development. Its mainstream programmes are study programmes and apprenticeships.

Looking back, Springboard secretary and NELP treasurer Denise Wilson, says: “I think it’s our focus on not just developing vocational skills, but helping our learners develop as people that has been our key to success.
“We have seen some major changes in the training sector during our time and have outlived a raft of government funding agencies but being part of North East Learning Providers has helped us navigate through some challenging times in the industry.”

Springboard is a long standing member of professional body, North East Learning Providers, having joined in 2001.

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