Students need more work placements to raise standards

Getting students into meaningful work experience placements is one of the key challenges facing beauty educators in colleges today, according to a panel of leading college heads speaking at an event organised by Professional Beauty in Manchester last month.

Placements need to be widely available and of a high standard to raise the quality of young therapists, said the group. However, changes to Ofsted guidelines have left many in the dark about how much work experience students should complete.

Joan Scott, assistant principal at Trafford College, said, “It’s not just about your qualification now; the new study programmes look at employability.” She said that there are not enough local employers offering work experience placements to accommodate all of the students.

Lecturers also said it’s important to show students the variety of opportunities available to them in a beauty career, and that educators must keep on top of the fast-moving trends to make sure their students are up to date with the industry.

Another challenge highlighted was the Government’s new requirement that every student on a further education course must have a GCSE of grade A* to C in maths and English. “I’ve actually found that many employers aren’t that bothered about GCSEs, and would much rather take students with excellent communication skills,” said Scott.

These topics will be brought under the spotlight at the third Education Forum, taking place on September 21 as part of Professional Beauty North in Manchester. The Forum is open to all college heads and beauty lecturers. Find more information here.

This story first appeared in the July issue of Professional Beauty. To make sure you're always the first to read the news, subscribe online for just £4.99 a year for 12 digital issues or £37 for an annual 12-issue subscription.