An industry of many facets, the popularity of health and beauty courses is growing worldwide. “With many redundancies happening through company closures, beauty therapy as a career has become even more popular,” explains Marek Waclawczyk at The London School of Beauty & Make-up in the UK. “It is not only rewarding but can also give flexible working hours away from the usual nine-to-five job.”
At the school, programmes are wide-ranging, and include make-up training for those looking to enter the world of fashion, film and TV: the internationally recognised Comite International d’Esthetique et de Cosmetologie beauty diploma and VTCT diplomas (a UK qualification for the beauty sector) in areas such as massaging and laser treatments. “We also have a fully operational salon and spa open to the public, where students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, which eliminates the necessity of a work placement,” Waclawczyk enthuses.
In the USA, Tracey Taylor at Bellus Academy affirms that demand for health and beauty practitioners is high, as globally, “individuals are looking for non-evasive ways to continue looking young”. With the academy’s programme provision including hairdressing, make-up artistry and spa nail technician training, “We are the only West Coast Itec-approved [International Therapy Examination Council] academy providing graduates the opportunity to receive an international certificate,” Taylor says, adding that “graduates who successfully pass the Itec exam are certified to work in 38 countries. In addition, all of our courses include financial literacy and best in business [modules] to prepare our students to become entrepreneurs.”
And at Canada’s Inter-Dec College, part of Lasalle International, “International students are more prone to register in Hairdressing and Aesthetic Care because both programmes lead to an official degree recognised by the Ministry of Education of Quebec,” Chrystel Jacquot-Donnat relates. “After their full year of studies, they can have access to the post-graduation work permit which allows them to stay in Canada to acquire experience for one year.”
The school, with an overseas student population comprising 25 per cent of the overall student body, also provides hair and make-up diplomas for the creative industries. Programmes usually last a year, she says, adding that the school runs modules in artistic fashion and beauty make-up, cinema, film and TV make-up and a master class in high fashion. She enthuses, “Our beauty students have a lot of opportunities to acquire experience outside the school, thanks to fashion shows, theatre, movie and TV sets.”
Concentrating purely on make-up training, the Glauca Rossi School of Make Up in the UK provides two courses: an eight-week intensive programme and another lasting 12 weeks. They both cover highlighting and shading, make-up for ethnic skin tones and creative make-up for pop and promotional videos, according to Glauca Rossi. “[The school] is very popular with an international audience because many of the Glauca Rossi former students have acquired an international reputation by working with magazines such as Vogue, high-profile advertising campaigns, fashion designers, pop promo videos, popular [British] TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and celebrities,” she affirms.
Thankfully ESL support is often on offer at health and beauty schools, with Bellus Academy looking to partner with English language schools. Imagine Education Australia, on the other hand, has the Imagine College of English on the same campus that health and beauty courses are taught on. “A minimum Ielts score of 5.5 is required with no band less than five for entry,” explains James Roache at the school, adding that international students, often from Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and the Philippines, can gain qualifications in hairdressing within four years and in beauty therapy within two. “[Since starting] a new salon, interest for these courses is stable due to the attractiveness of having a real-life training facility which gives students the chance to work with real clients,” he also notes.
An interesting trend that Angela Pandya, at Face Factory, a make-up school in the UK, notes is the development of online teaching services within the industry. The school’s course “has developed over the years to offer online services for theory units, giving us more time to focus on practical units [in person],” she says, adding that the school began in Spain due to high demand from expats looking for a career change.
And many schools utilise agents for recruitment purposes, including Glauca Rossi who highlights that she mainly uses Japanese agents at the moment. Inter-Dec College, meanwhile, keeps agents in the loop with a monthly newsletter and agent website.
Skin rejuvenation programmes
As Marek Waclawczyk at The London School of Beauty and Make-up attests, “We are seeing new technology in rejuvenation treatments and the school has reflected this in its recent programme additions such as laser skin rejuvenation.” Indeed, it looks likely that skin rejuvenation programmes will grow in popularity worldwide.
The Australasian Academy of Cosmetic Dermal Science (AACDS) in Australia has delivered accredited qualifications since 2004, including a one-year Advanced Diploma of Cosmetic Dermal Science. “Since this is a growth industry internationally, there is always increasing interest in AACDS courses,” explains Director April Jorgensen. Courses are developed through the merging of the beauty industry and cosmetic medical profession, she attests, explaining that “traditional beauty and nursing courses do not cover dermal therapy treatments such as microdermabrasion therefore there was a large training deficit within the market. Dermal therapy and cosmetic medicine are very dynamic fields with new technology continually developing.”
Courses are popular “with international students from many different countries, though at present, there is a real interest among students from Brazil as the country has a similar cosmetic industry to Australia”, she notes, adding, “At present we do not utilise agents, although we are looking to develop a network of agents.”