Is there a recruitment crisis/shortage of beauty therapists?

TheEnglishAromatherapist

The English Aromatherapist
#21
I was that mature student!

I pretty much took the path you mentioned more borne out of a personal interest than as a career plan. There is something that comes with the security of later life, a bit of breathing space, an opportunity to persue something you feel passionately about without the pressure of having to make a living from it.

I felt for the youngsters I trained alongside who needed to make enough income for rent, their young children, their car... Looking at the majority of employment offers I can see that they will need to put in a lot of hours. It's sad to see so many employers asking for qualifications and yet only offering minimum wage. I don't think there is a shortage of qualified therapists, I think there are a lack of job opportunities that pay enough to attract their interest. They have financial responsibilities to cover that the wage offers just don't match.

On the issue of qualifications, I only did qualifications to level 2 and then went elsewhere to get more defined training in the particular products and equipment I was interested in, I don't think that's particularly unusual in the beauty industry. Yet if I browse the job market I see that recruiters just want the level 3 qualification. They are missing a trick in exactly the way you describe.
Example; I specifically wanted to qualify in toe nail reconstructions and that is not in any generic level 3 that I'm aware of! There are limited products designed to do this properly and safely and I chose to train directly with the most prestigious of those. I did my research and invested my training funds accordingly. Whilst I technically don't hold a level 3 I am just as qualified but my certification is more diverse. When I looked into level 3 it just didn't move me as far as I wanted from level 2 content, it looked too much like 'more of the same' and I wanted other skills that weren't included.

I'm not convinced that employers have really embraced this diversity. Asking for level 3 is just playing it safe and dispensing with the task of having to research the value of alternative qualifications. In short, it's pretty lazy.

Thankfully I'm just happy working part time from home but I do feel some concern for those who need more than that. A mine field of contractless 'self employed' positions, the gamble of in house training quality, the possibility of having to juggle with more than one job to make up hours, the long hours needed to make a living... It's no surprise that going mobile or working from home are considered the better option by so many.
Thanks Alison, I agree with all your points. Salons are just asking for Level 3, even when they often don't even offer all the Level 3 treatments in their salon anyway! It's often just because they want therapists who can do body massage. Some of the treatments I did in Level 3 were not even offered in the salons where I worked (e.g. body electrical treatments, epilation)

Yep, I agree - no surprise that so many people end up going mobile or working from home
 

JanVenus

Active Member
#22
I started off mobile because I knew I didn't have the qualifications to work at a salon and, at 39, I wasn't even in the age bracket for an assistant therapist role. I've spent some time at college since then, currently flying through my HNC Beauty Therapy - this is the lowest level a salon will consider employing as a therapist, the problem with that is that they only offer minimum wage. I'm not going to college for 2 to 3 years to go into a minimum wage job. I furthered my education to get AWAY from minimum wage jobs!

Another pitfall is snobbery - refusing to consider anyone with visible tattoos, alternative hair colours, less than polished accents, not wanting to wear a full face of makeup all day every day.

I'll stick to my own little mobile business thanks very much.
 

TheEnglishAromatherapist

The English Aromatherapist
#23
I started off mobile because I knew I didn't have the qualifications to work at a salon and, at 39, I wasn't even in the age bracket for an assistant therapist role. I've spent some time at college since then, currently flying through my HNC Beauty Therapy - this is the lowest level a salon will consider employing as a therapist, the problem with that is that they only offer minimum wage. I'm not going to college for 2 to 3 years to go into a minimum wage job. I furthered my education to get AWAY from minimum wage jobs!

Another pitfall is snobbery - refusing to consider anyone with visible tattoos, alternative hair colours, less than polished accents, not wanting to wear a full face of makeup all day every day.

I'll stick to my own little mobile business thanks very much.
I think that is a huge problem - the fact that people have to spend a year or 2 at college to get a minimum wage job in a salon.

Yes, that's the beauty of having your own business - you can do it your way, dress your way, and set your own rules.
 

redlottie13

JUST BE NICE
#24
My full timer joined me to do her work placement for college - 30 hours unpaid from memory. She was fabulous (18 years old and no experience). She then stayed on and worked doing all her level 2 treatments whilst doing her level 3 qualification. She is brilliant! I have also been approached by two level 2 students looking for placements. They have lost emails, don’t reply and have generally been a bit rubbish.
I would gladly take on a level two who is committed and works hard. There are salons out there.

Good luck

Vic x
Totally I would rather do this too. However I tried recruiting fresh out of college in the summer & 3 out of 4 were terrible.
(I work in hair but the theme is the same)

1) Let slip her boyfriend doesn't let her out and controls everything from money to when she can go to college or work!
2) got the job and lasted 1 month as she couldn't cut a child's hair in a straight line! (Basic basic training)
3) Tried to pull the disability card once offered the job and said she could only work school hours as her foot hurts more on a Saturday
4) Bloody fab - got the job, all going well!

Personally I think it's a few things, some we cannot control.

Poor pay ...
Students thinks it's easy or haven't been taught to a high standard .....
Lack of work ethic ..
 

redlottie13

JUST BE NICE
#25
I have several older trainees with varying training routes. It's worked very well so far. What's important is dedication and passionate interest, plus willingness to work hard.

I offered a level 2 work placement to a Mum of primary school children. She needed quite a lot of support initially and lacked confidence. I offered her paid work during school hours whilst she was studying level 3 and now that she's qualified she is doing welI. It's been a bit of an investment of time and money but I'm really happy - she's turning into the asset I hoped she'd be.

I took on a 28 year old apprentice in the summer. She's a Mum to a preschooler. Sadly she couldn't cope with the minimum hours commitment so we tore up the apprentice agreement and she stayed on as a trainee with a much reduced hourly commitment. She's since made excellent progress and has completed several level 2 modules.

I now have a 47 year old apprentice. She's been working (elsewhere) in beauty for a year unqualified so she's picked up some bad habits - but she's so keen to learn and so happy to have the chance.
Wow that's great. How do you justify paying them national minimum wage when they can't or won't be bring profit in?
I'm pretty new to salon ownership but love this idea as I was 23 when I got into hair (I was told I was old ) so I worked voluntarily to prove myself x
 

redlottie13

JUST BE NICE
#26
I started off mobile because I knew I didn't have the qualifications to work at a salon and, at 39, I wasn't even in the age bracket for an assistant therapist role. I've spent some time at college since then, currently flying through my HNC Beauty Therapy - this is the lowest level a salon will consider employing as a therapist, the problem with that is that they only offer minimum wage. I'm not going to college for 2 to 3 years to go into a minimum wage job. I furthered my education to get AWAY from minimum wage jobs!

Another pitfall is snobbery - refusing to consider anyone with visible tattoos, alternative hair colours, less than polished accents, not wanting to wear a full face of makeup all day every day.

I'll stick to my own little mobile business thanks very much.
My insurance states that if you do a therapy /service on a client you must be fully qualified to level 2 unless in a training session.

So i wouldn't risk it. Plus it's an assurance for both clients and owners. ....

Otherwise we run the risk of every Tom dick and Harry would be you tubing how to apply lashes buying glue from eBay and offering it to Joe public!

Tats and wild hair colour.....I love, I like my staff to be individuals! As long as they are professional
 

#27
I had a chat with someone who owns a couple of salons in the area and she's offered me a job and is willing to mentor/train me while I am at college! She used to teach Beauty Therapy at college and loves the fact that I'm older. So a big thank you to everyone for your words of encouragement! X
 
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