British Beauty Council launches educational initiative

A new programme to showcase expression in the beauty industry has been launched by the British Beauty Council to schools across England to inspire and educate young people. 

The hair and beauty industry supports almost six hundred thousand jobs – that’s one in every 60 in the UK – and these roles contribute almost £30 billion pounds to the British Economy.  

However, the value of beauty careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) have been long underestimated, making it difficult for young people to realise the diverse opportunities available to them in the industry. 

This has resulted in a shrinking pipeline of talent to the beauty industry which has been hit post-Brexit and in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

The British Beauty Council aim to tackle this lack of awareness with the ‘Future Talent Programme’. 

Supported by the Department for Education, The Careers & Enterprise Company and STEM Learning, the programme will be seeded out via The Careers Hub Network. 

Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, said: “From hair products to skincare, the beauty industry is a huge part of our daily lives – but its importance is more than skin deep.  

“The industry is worth billions to our economy and as the Future Talent Programme will demonstrate, offers a great route for young people to launch careers in science and technology. 

“As a former apprentice myself, there has never been a better time to launch this new programme than National Apprenticeship Week.  

“Doing an apprenticeship means you earn while you learn and gain the skills and knowledge businesses really value.” 

She added: “There are a huge range of apprenticeship opportunities available to young people interested in a career in the beauty industry, with options including laboratory and research scientist, digital marketing, beauty therapy, and buying and merchandising.” 

The Future Talent Programme showcases self-expression in the beauty industry as a route to happy and successful careers.  

It harnesses influential voices in the beauty industry including Jamie Genevieve, Plastic Boy and The Welsh Twins to create a series of short films covering beauty and STEM opportunities in cosmetic science, sustainability, fragrance and technology. 

Currently, 75% of STEM-based roles are occupied by men and only 33% of 10-13-year-olds aspire to develop a STEM career. Knowing this, the Future Talent Programme said it is dedicated to highlighting career pathways to young people, aged 11-18, inspiring them to see value in their current education. 

The council is also facilitating a beauty STEM Ambassador Programme. This will see dynamic industry leaders visit schools to share their inspiring expertise and career advice with the next generation of beauty innovators. 

STEM skills are vital to the beauty industry. Whether it’s product formulation, sustainable packaging innovation, website design, supply chain efficiency or the various careers in-between, personal care couldn’t exist without STEM experts. 

Minister for Technology and Digital Economy, Paul Scully MP, said: “I am delighted that the British Beauty Council is taking steps to develop the Future Talent Programme to showcase how a career in beauty-tech really is open to everybody. 

“The potential that tech has to offer the beauty sector is unmatched with developments like AI (Artificial Intelligence), the metaverse and NFTs (Non-fungible Tokens) providing tech opportunities for STEM graduates.  

“This is an incredibly exciting industry to be a part of and we want as many young people as possible to be involved in its overwhelming success. I look forward to seeing what the next generation of beauty pioneers will create.” 

During its pilot phase, STEM Learning estimates that the programme has reached a total of 25,000 primary and secondary schools, and an additional 10,424 teachers via an additional dedicated newsletter. 

The British Beauty Council has worked with Estée Lauder Companies, L’Oréal, No7 Beauty Company, Superdrug, Deciem and The Fragrance Foundation to execute the cross-industry campaign. 

On the Future Talent Programme, Millie Kendall OBE, CEO of the British Beauty Council, said: “As a young person I never knew of the abundant and fulfilling careers available in the beauty and cosmetics industry. 

“I worked as a hairdresser, and only by trial and error did I end up with the colourful career I have managed to create. 

“We want this programme to fast track young people towards suitable career options, thus ensuring we have a seamless flow of talent.” 

The Future Talent Programme will exist beyond this initial roll-out to explore different career areas including marketing and communications, buying and merchandising and beyond. 

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