Step by Step: How to Start a Career as a Beauty Therapist in Plymouth

So, you want to be a beauty therapist? Well here’s your chance, because a Plymouth training agency is recruiting students now – and all you need is enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and a bit of creativity.

Skills Group is looking for a début cohort for its new Level 2 Beauty Therapy qualification.

Participants don’t need qualifications and the course is fully-funded, so long as they are aged 16 to 18.

Future courses, for fee-paying adults, are expected to be started soon, but for now Skills Group wants to find teenagers with a burning ambition to become the next generation of beauticians.

There are open days each day until December 15, 2017, at Skills Group’s Training Academy at Derry’s Cross.

But if you can’t make an open day, 10am to 5pm (8pm on December 14), you can still sign up later.

The one-year course is being set up “roll-on-roll-off”, so new students are starting all the time.

And they will be learning manicures, pedicures, waxing, facials, make-up and lash and brow treatments.

The training will be over three “intensive” days a week in a specially created salon at Skills Group’s four-storey city centre base.

They will learn from top trainers, who have extensive experience in the beauty industry.

Lindsay Williams, beauty therapy programme manager, said the new cohort can sign up now and start learning in January 2018.

Prior qualifications are not essential.

“They don’t need them but they will have to have an interview,” she said. “If they don’t have maths and English they will need that, but they can do it as part of the course.

“So they just need to have life skills,” she stressed. “They will have to be able to talk to new people, but on the course we can help people with their confidence.

“And creative skills. We already find that most girls are interested in art or being creative.”

But she stressed learning to be a beauty therapists is not an “easy option”.

“A lot of girls think it’s just about make-up,” she said. “But there is theory, exams and deadlines.”

The course also involves learning about reception work, health and safety rules, retailing, product knowledge and how to work with others.

For manicures, students will learn how to file and care for nails, apply varnish, hand massage, and cuticle work.

For pedicures this will be applied to feet, and students will also be trained in how to be “waxing queens”, learning how to wax underarms, legs, bikini lines and eyebrows.

They will also emerge au fait with how to care for clients skin, cleanse, exfoliate, perform facial massage, and apply face masks and moisturise.

Students will also become experts in make-up, including for brides.

And they will master the art of brow shaping, lash and brow tinting, and applying false lashes.

Once proficient the young learners will be set to work in a commercial salon, where clients pay a small fee for treatments, and the students’ work is assessed.

Once qualified, students can move on to take a Level 3 course – or start work in a salon, spa or even a cruise ship.

And there are jobs out there.

“When I was 16 I told my careers officer I wanted to be a make-up artist and she didn’t know what to do,” said Mrs Williams. “Today the industry is huge. In every village there is a salon.

“I’ve worked in the industry for 24 years, and have been teaching for 18 years.

“You have to keep up to date though,” she added. “And that’s what the young people want, they want to learn the latest techniques.”

Mrs Williams said already eight have signed up.

“They are all girls, but we can have boys too,” she said.

“At the open days they can try out the latest techniques, and have their photos taken.

“But if they miss out they can still contact us and come in for an interview.”

Skills Group’s Training Academy, which opened at Derry’s Cross in 2016, already trains hairdressers and barbers.

It has about 150 apprentices learning hairdressing and barbering at that building, with up to 25 on site each day.

At other locations more apprenticeships are offered.

But the beauty therapists will not be going down the apprenticeship route – they will be students.

nd they will be employable when they complete the course.

“They will be salon ready,” Mrs Williams said.

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School