Toni & Guy’s Toni Mascolo officially opens Nottinghamshire College

Dame Asha Khemka with Toni Mascolo_500Dame Asha Khemka with Toni Mascolo after he unveiled the official plaque

Toni Mascolo, OBE, recently visited the midlands to officially open West Nottinghamshire College’s £11 million lifestyle academy.

Mascolo, co-founder of world-renowned hairdressing chain Toni & Guy and the man hailed as being responsible for changing the face of modern hairdressing, visited the lifestyle academy on Friday 7th November. The new facility is training the next generation of almost 500 hair stylists, beauty therapists, chefs and hospitality professionals and is based at the college’s Derby Road campus

After unveiling a plaque to mark the centre’s formal opening, Mascolo watched a catwalk show by hairdressing students, before touring the state-of-the-art commercial hair and beauty salons, nail bar and spa, called Revive, and fine-dining restaurant, Refined.

Mascolo spoke to students about their studies, career plans and aspirations and learnt more about the college’s approach to preparing young people for careers in the hair, beauty, hospitality and catering industries through a combination of vocational training and practical work experience.

Students heard about his success story and had the opportunity to ask questions about the skills needed to make it in the industry.

Also attending the event was Craig Davies, training manager at award-winning salon chain the Francesco Group, which joined forces with the college last year to ensure the highest levels of training and commercial standards for the hairdressing curriculum.

In the evening, Mascolo experienced the talents of professional cookery and hospitality students at a dinner with students, college governors and special guests including Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale in Refined, where he gave the keynote speech.

Meanwhile, Refined has fast become Mansfield’s premier fine dining restaurant, giving students the valuable experience they need to launch careers in the catering and hospitality industry, from chefs and front-of-house professionals to bar managers and events co-ordinators.

Mascolo said: “I have a very strong belief in education; there’s nothing better than seeing people being educated to the very best of their abilities. Hairdressing has been my life and I believe it can provide a great career for anyone who studies it.

“Here at the college I can see students immersed in a real-life commercial situation, both in the salons and the kitchens. It’s always been my philosophy to work and study in this way. It’s clear the students are building the foundations of their own careers within these wonderful facilities.”