The Government has scrapped plans to roll out the Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy (HBBT) T Level from September 2024.
Instead, the Department for Education (DfE) will explore the development of a T Level which focuses solely on the beauty sector, aiming for this to be introduced after 2025.
The HBBT T Level had originally been scheduled to begin from September 2023, but in March 2023, it was announced that it was delayed by one year to September 2024.
Yesterday (January 30), Robert Halfon, the Minister of State for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education announced that the DfE has made the decision not to roll out the HBBT T Level from September 2024.
In a written ministerial statement, he said: “The beauty sector has fed back that a good quality level 3 classroom-based progression route is desirable.
“Therefore, this government will explore introducing a T-Level which focuses on the beauty sector, with the expectation that this could be introduced after 2025.
“This differs from feedback we have had from representatives in the hair sector which has led us to conclude that the best route is for learners to progress into their industry through completion of an existing Level 2 or Level 3 apprenticeship or a Level 2 classroom-based qualification.”
Commenting on the decision, Diane Hey, chair of the Beauty Trailblazer group, and chief executive of Armonia Health and Wellbeing, said: "It’s a real step forward that hair, barbering and beauty are being recognised as separate industries with their own distinct skills and training needs.
She added, "While I view apprenticeships as the best employment route to the sector, apprenticeships are not for all young people, nor for all employers. It’s really important to offer attractive alternative routes into the sector, so I welcome work on a potential beauty science T Level.
"A Beauty T Level with significant science focus could offer a strong route for progression into the wealth of further and higher education pathways and STEM-based roles in the beauty and related industries, including product research and development for hair, cosmetic, perfume, beauty and wellbeing products, B2B services and new developments ”
Alan Woods OBE, chief executive of awarding body VTCT, added: “Whilst we understand the work and preparation that has already gone into creating the T Level, VTCT’s core purpose has always been to support learners to obtain a qualification giving a direct line of sight to a job.
“We believe the most effective way to achieve this is by listening to the voices of our industries and actively implementing their recommendations.
“We are proud to see this ethos being reflected with the T Level and look forward to progressing with the new route announced by the Department for Education.”