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Trustees x 3 VTCT

VTCT trustees are at the heart of our strategic direction. With our continued growth and impact, we are looking for three new trustees to join our Board with the passion and commitment to support our mission for advancing education for all people and all communities.

  • Location: Eastleigh, Hampshire
  • Salary: Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.
  • Closing date: OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS

Who we are.

VTCT is a dynamic vocational and technical awarding and apprenticeship assessment organisation, working throughout the UK and in over 40 other countries, globally.

We are one of the top 10 End-Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs) and are at the forefront of apprenticeship assessment in the UK. VTCT is the UK’s leading specialist vocational and technical Awarding Organisations (AOs) for Hair and Beauty, Complementary Therapies and Aesthetics, Logistics, Health and Social Care, and Early Years Education, as well as for Sports & Active Health, English for Speakers in Other Languages (ESOL), Business Services, Hospitality, and more. Our qualifications offer learners direct line of sight to a job and an accessible route to economic empowerment.

The VTCT group delivers qualifications under four brands: VTCT, iTEC, Skillsfirst and Skills for Logistics, covering over 3,000 training locations worldwide with 100,000 learners and apprentices every year.

We have continued to adapt over the years to keep up with the external world, the changing needs of the sector, advances in technology, and related sectors’ growth. We are always looking ahead to see how we can further evolve and support businesses and individuals, balancing our vital work in the UK with our overseas markets.

Our services to people and health and wellbeing sectors are continuously evolving, as are the requirements for qualifications to support those entering and progressing within the sectors. That’s why we work in partnership with employers and our customers to co-create industry recognised, high-quality and innovative products that address specific markets’ needs.

VTCT is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. Income for the year ended July 2023 was just under £11.7m and our staff numbers during the year averaged just over 210.

Our Board.

The VTCT Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the organisation, its financial health, probity of its activities and the development of the organisation’s aims, objectives and goals following its governing document, and legal and regulatory guidelines.

Full Board meetings are held five times annually in Eastleigh (Southampton); but can be joined remotely. The meetings are generally held on the fourth Thursday of the month in March, May, July, September, with a December meeting taking place over two days.

We have three sub-committees and trustees can choose to volunteer to be a member of one, or more of these committees, with meetings generally held remotely:

  • Finance & Audit Committee (Five meetings March, May (jointly with the HR & Remuneration Committee), July, September, November)
  • HR & Remuneration Committees (Four meetings March, May (jointly with the Finance & Audit Committee), July and November)
  • Regulatory & Quality Committee (Two meetings May and October)

We anticipate the time commitment to be around one day per month. In addition to main board and committee meetings, other ad-hoc requirements will include training; special projects such as interview panels for senior appointments or panels for significant contracts, acquisitions, etc.; representing VTCT at events, reading and preparation.

The role of a trustee is unpaid. However, all reasonable travel and subsistence costs, including accommodation, will be reimbursed. This reimbursement includes payments for any caring responsibilities you may incur for attending meetings. We will also provide a laptop/tablet and software.

The term of office is three years.

Who we are looking for.

We are mid-way through our 2021-2026 strategy, and we still have many opportunities delivering programmes to ensure our qualifications, assessments, services, and programmes are set to deliver for learners in the future. Our trustees are at the heart of our strategic direction, working with, and supporting our senior team and other staff colleagues, ensuring we set and achieve our ambition.

We are looking to appoint up to three new Trustees to join our Board in May 2024. We welcome applications from as broad a base as possible from people who will provide a strategic contribution, and also from those with relevant lived experience, perhaps as a young learner, or those aspiring to be a first-time trustee. Most of all, we are looking for people to join us who have enthusiasm, commitment, and a passion for advancing education for all people and all communities.

To complement the skills on our Board, we would value applications from people who bring leadership and/or management experience in any of the following areas:

  • Awarding Sector – qualifications or assessment.
  • Independent/private training providers.
  • HR – particularly in relation to business change and international business.
  • IT and Digital strategy, compliance, and governance.
  • Charity or public sector organisations.

If you have the passion and commitment to support us as we transform and evolve, we hope you will consider joining us on our exciting journey.


For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Liz Holderness | liz@peridotpartners.co.uk

Liz-Holderness-Director-of-Business-Services-Peridot-Partners

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Liz Holderness

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Welcome from the Chair and Chief Executive

Dear Prospective Trustee,

Thank you for your interest in becoming a new Trustee for VTCT. If successful, you will be joining a passionate and ambitious Board of Trustees ready to play its full part in the organisation’s continuing success.

VTCT, with its portfolio of vocational and technical qualifications and assessments covering the activity of VTCT, iTEC, Skillsfirst, and Skills for Logistics, plays a crucial role in enabling learners, students, and apprentices of all ages to have a direct line of sight to a job. We also offer the chance for all learners to improve their career progression and therefore earning potential, with increased skills via higher technical qualifications.

Driven both by our relationships with employers within the industries we serve, and by placing colleges and private training

providers at the heart of what we do, we enable our learners to succeed. As an organisation, we champion diversity and the right to equal opportunity, both in our qualification design and in our corporate culture.

We have been in existence as a charity for over 60 years. As part of our Board of Trustees, your skills will help us build upon that heritage. Just as importantly, we must look to the future as we continue to evolve and adapt to the changing world of qualifications and the different skills systems worldwide.

The pandemic, and different national skills policies changed the face of assessment and qualifications services. We work with governments and qualification regulators within the United Kingdom and worldwide to ensure our qualifications are safe, valid, reliable, and fit for purpose in this rapidly changing environment.

In 2021, we embarked on a new strategy that we believe will ensure VTCT’s success continues. Consequently, we have recently acquired two further Awarding and Apprenticeship Assessment organisations, Skillsfirst and Skills for Logistics, to join the VTCT group of companies. We have so much opportunity to make sure we are fit for the future, and that’s where you come in.

As a Trustee, you will be at the heart of that strategic direction, working with, and supporting our senior team and other staff colleagues, ensuring we set and achieve our ambition. The role is complex and fascinating. It places you within a Board of Trustees of a large charity, supporting and challenging the organisation to be the best it can be in a 21st-century world of education and skills that change lives.

If you have the passion and commitment to support us as we transform and evolve, we hope you will join us on this challenging yet exciting journey. In return, we will help you develop your strategic leadership skills in this new world by offering you a rewarding and exciting role as a Trustee of our dynamic charity.

I appreciate your interest in joining the Board of Trustees of VTCT.

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Sworder
Chair of Trustees

Alan Woods OBE
Chief Executive

About VTCT.

It could be said that VTCT invented beauty therapy…

In 1962, VTCT’s founder, Wallace Sharps, started the UK’s first beauty training school, known as Du Barry International. Interestingly, just one year later, he revolutionised the approach and professionalism towards this new industry, introducing the role of ‘beauty therapist’ and setting up the first professional association for beauty therapists, which included a new examination system entitled the Society of Health and Beauty Therapists.

The success of this new system gained momentum and was recognised and joined by colleges worldwide; in the 1970s, the International Health and Beauty Council (IHBC) was established as the market leader. Later, the IHBC became a charity and was renamed the Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT).

Over time we have continued to drive the sector. Our VTCT footprint has evolved more broadly into health and wellbeing, which, in addition to beauty therapy, now includes hairdressing and barbering, health and fitness, complementary therapies and medical aesthetics.

In 2016, VTCT acquired its long-standing competitor, iTEC, forming a powerful alliance under the control of the VTCT Board. ITEC’s strong international focus, external examiner approach, and portfolio of graded qualifications have further strengthened VTCT’s position as the market leader.

The services to people and health and wellbeing sectors are continuously evolving, as are the requirements for qualifications to support those entering and progressing within the sectors. That’s why we partner with employers and our customers to co-create industry recognised, high-quality and innovative products that address specific markets’ needs. We have a total commitment to outstanding technical and customer support and thrive on long-standing relationships with our customers, ensuring our training providers grow and their learners succeed.

We have continued to adapt over the years to keep up with the external world, the changing needs of the sector, advances in technology, and related sectors’ growth, such as aesthetics. We are looking ahead to see how we can further evolve and support businesses and individuals, balancing our vital work in the UK with our overseas markets.

And we have grown again…

At the beginning of March 2022, VTCT acquired the Awarding and Apprenticeship Assessment Organisation, Skillsfirst (skillsfirst.co.uk). Skillsfirst delivers several qualifications and apprenticeship assessments with market-leading positions in Health and Social Care, Early Years and Business. It has also genuinely transformed the qualifications market with remote invigilation of Functional Skills Assessments in Maths and English and developing innovative qualifications such as LGBTQIA+ inclusion qualifications for different occupational sectors.

Some of the key employers Skillsfirst works with include DHL, SAGE, Busy Bees and Kidz Planet.

In June 2023, the VTCT group expanded further by acquiring Skills for Logistics. Skills for Logistics is the largest sector specialist organisation with an extensive customer base, enjoying a 25% apprenticeship assessment total market share with a wide range of logistics apprenticeships, including LGV Drivers, Supply Chain Warehouse Operatives, Supply Chain Practitioner, International Freight Forwarding and Commercial Procurement and Supply.

We believe there are many opportunities to grow the activities of all companies in the group to meet our ambition of a £15m+ turnover charity serving over 150,000 learners worldwide by 2026. Our financial progress and statements can be found at: VTCT – Charity Commission

Our Purpose and Mission.

  • To provide learners and their educational institutions an outstanding experience through the delivery of our core activities of awarding, assessment, accreditation, research, and digital education.
  • The advancement of education for the public good; providing a direct line of sight to a job, enhancing learners’ knowledge and skills, thereby improving career prospects.

Context.

The education and skills sector is challenging with constant change and reform impacting colleges, private training and apprenticeship providers. These changes result in a reduced market value of the technical and professional sector, with this trend evident across all industries. Technical education continues to be perceived as a poor relation to academic teaching. However, we know that this is changing by the emphasis placed by all governments on skills development and progression. Increasingly, apprenticeships are leading the way in changing perception, and we are market leaders in twenty apprenticeship standards across the group.

Strategic Aims.

The coronavirus dramatically affected the education and skills sector, and whilst the current VTCT strategy has a significant strategy “pillar” focused on coronavirus recovery, a mid-term strategy refresh is currently being prepared.  The successful trustee candidates will support the strategy review and, ultimately, approve the final plan with other trustees.

We must transform how we support learning and assessment in education and move forward with an ambition that thrusts us into the wider skills delivery arena for our learners and centres. All of that must occur within a changing funding environment and pressure to continue to secure our long-term financial sustainability, building upon all our work over the past sixty years.

By supporting individuals and businesses with skills, knowledge, and qualifications, we will ensure that learners have a direct line of sight to a job; that employers will have a workforce that can deliver for today’s challenges but one that is also ready for tomorrow’s opportunities; and that VTCT can provide aspiration, security, and opportunity for all those who come into contact with our activities.

People@VTCT.

Despite changes to the education and skills sector, VTCT’s strategy recognises that first and foremost, our people remain our most valuable resource and the development of a people strategy is a priority to ensure our future success.

Our People@VTCT strategy intention is to make a clear statement about how VTCT values and treats its people and the culture it wishes to foster to enable everyone to achieve and sustain excellence in all areas of activity.

Our strategy comprises five aims underpinned by our core values and will continue to serve the public through the advancement of education.

These are as follows:

  • Attract and recruit the best people with the potential to grow with us.
  • Develop and support our people so that they can deliver to a high standard, fulfil their potential and work towards achieving their career aspirations.
  • Retain and reward our people fairly, recognising their contribution to delivering our strategic objectives.
  • Create a best-in-class management and leadership programme.
  • Build an inclusive culture and healthy working environment that promotes collaboration and innovation.

We are also committed to building a collaborative, inclusive and safe working environment underpinned by a culture based on our values.

Our Values.

VTCT’s core values, as produced collaboratively by staff, are:

  • Trust me to run with it: giving freedom, empowerment and ownership to get a great job done.
  • Together we talk, listen and lead: acting with courage and openness to create shared solutions.
  • We grow great people: achieving success by valuing, supporting and investing in colleagues and customers.
  • What have we done today to make us feel proud: innovating and improving through passion and relationships.
  • Together we complete the puzzle: reaching out across boundaries to support and collaborate.
  • Our community: welcoming, creative and vibrant, achieving great things for our customers and beneficiaries.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Trustees

VTCT are committed to equality of opportunity, and we value diversity. We seek people from a wide range of backgrounds who will bring a fresh perspective to the Board of Trustees. Having reviewed existing Trustees’ diversity, skills, and experience, VTCT is keen for the Board of Trustees to reflect the diversity of the learners they work with and therefore welcomes applications from all community sections.

Staff

Regarding our staff, we aim to continue developing a corporate culture that is inclusive at all levels and in every system and process. Through our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy, we work with people from across the organisation and beyond to meet our statutory responsibilities and exceed them. We will aim to facilitate awareness-raising events for our staff to ensure they embrace the ethos expressed by this policy and celebrate our differences and uniqueness.

Learners

Learners have a legal right to qualification design and implementation that does not discriminate against them based on age, disability, ethnicity, pregnancy or maternity, religion or belief, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Disabled students have a legal right to reasonable adjustments to ensure that their needs to access education are met.

We are proud of our reputation and inclusive approach, enabling individuals to achieve their potential and progress in their chosen career pathway. Education’s importance is evident, and we acknowledge the positive impact of education and the potential to transform lives by overcoming educational and economic disadvantages. We celebrate and champion diversity and go beyond what is expected in our drive for inclusion and community development.

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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Role Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “VTCT – Trustees” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

    Liz Holderness | liz@peridotpartners.co.uk

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

    If you experience any technical or accessibility difficulties, need help making an application, or have any additional support that needs to be considered as part of the interview and selection process, please let us know.

    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.

    Timetable

    Closing date: OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS
    Candidates informed of outcome: by Friday 26th April 2024
    Interviews: Tuesday 7th May, the afternoon of Thursday 16th May, or Friday 17th May 2024


    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and VTCT are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practices. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.


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