Conference Paper

Topics: Cosmetics, Massage, Cosmetology Pages: 8 (2146 words) Published: May 20, 2013
Conference Paper Outline for Studies in Teaching a Specialist Subject, DID7230 Cert Ed Word Count 2116

Lesley Ibbotson
University Centre Barnsley

Is the Beauty Therapy Qualification Meeting the needs of the Industry?


Many students who are undertaking, or have completed a Beauty Therapy qualification, do so on the assumption that the skills and qualifications they gain will be enough to secure them a job in the industry. The Babtac website states that only 60% of graduates find employment within the first 6 months of completing their training and only 45% are still in employed in the industry after two years. The low percentages could be influenced by several factors including the current economic backdrop, over supply of labour, inadequate training, low salaries or the general demand in the industry.

if your skills match the needs and requirements of salons and spas beauty industry is forever evolving and you need to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. Stop and think if your skills match the needs and requirements of salons and spas.

For this paper I will analyse the current beauty therapy qualifications and will attempt to explore if the qualifications are providing students with the key skills to gain employment. The qualification has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. The beauty industry is constantly changing due to consumer trends, the influence of fashion and the desire to look younger. As the industry evolves it is essential for the qualification to evolve with it. This paper will analyse the changes and attempt to establish whether those that have been implemented have been successful. I will also question whether we should revert back to the more traditional qualification, which gave students the basic core requirements to work in any area of the beauty therapy industry, should be the preferred route.

Research from Habia found that salon owners were unaware of the course content of a beauty therapy qualification. For employers not to have an input into the training provided for potential future employees will limit the chances that the training provided is adequate. Therefore, I will discuss the key subjects within the beauty therapy programme, and with the help of further research, identify where I feel improvements could be made. This will include a review of the new diploma and whether or not this could reduce the gap in the skills shortages.

Background to Existing Beauty Therapy Qualifications

There are many different ways in which students can now gain a beauty therapy qualification. Education ranges from full and part time vacancies, to full time employment (with day release to college). In order to gain a qualification, students are expected to achieve certain units and meet specific performance criteria of the course. An awarding body such as VTCT or City and Guilds sets this. HABIA is the awarding body in which the standards are governed by.

“HABIA is the standard setting body for Hair, Beauty, Nails and Spa industries and creates the standards that form the basis of all qualifications including NVQ’s, SVQ’S, apprenticeships, diplomas and ffoundation degrees.” ( HABIA website 2009 pg 1)

In order to achieve the beauty therapy qualification students must complete specific units. For example, a level two programme includes (practical units only) facial, eye treatments, waxing, manicure, pedicure and students can complete additional subjects such as make up. For students who wish to obtain a further qualification they can progress onto a level three course. The level three qualification is now split into different routes massage, general and make up. Students, who take the level three route, will be more specialised in specific areas such as nails or body massage. It has been argued that although level three covers all the necessary requirements that have to be met through HABIA, it could limit the chances of a student gaining...
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