The Importance of training for the next generation of beauticians in Scotland

aberdeen academy of beauty therapy shirt along with a massage manual

An interview with the owners of Aberdeen Academy of Beauty Therapy

Securing a career for the future is a daunting thought for a lot of young people leading up to their last year of secondary school. Most of us will remember the utter panic as we looked through countless jobs, university/college courses and internships as we approached the end of school. There are plenty of young people in school who are interested in starting a career in the beauty industry and it’s vital that they receive the qualifications they need to pursue their passion. This is when Under 16 training comes into play. We spoke to Sammy MacDonald from Aberdeen Academy of Beauty about the benefits of Under 16 training courses

What courses do you provide for young people?

We have our under 16s course specifically for young people. It’s not something that we actually set out to offer but we had so much demand for it. Young girls that are just dying to get into the industry and we just thought “right let’s get something sorted for these girls”. So the issue we had when setting up the course was that you can’t have somebody on an accredited course if they are under 16 purely because the whole reason the courses are accredited is they can obtain insurance to work. You can’t obtain insurance to work if you’re younger than 16. So we hit a wall there and we had to find a way around it. So we spoke to the accreditation body and we came to the conclusion that we can train under 16s but we couldn’t give them their qualifications until they turned 16. So we developed the course so that they could get hands-on experience, they could get in the training academy and learn the basics. Once they’ve turned 16, they come back to sit an exam day where we ask them some questions and they do some treatment demos so we can see how they’re doing them. From there, we can decide whether or not they are of a good enough standard to achieve their accreditation or whether we want them to come back to resit the exam a few weeks later. So its a really great opportunity for girls who are just itching to get into the industry cause it means they gain their qualification pretty much as soon as they turn 16.

Why is beauty training such an important option for young people especially?

The earlier you get into the industry, the earlier you can decide which avenue you’d like to take- time is a great thing to have. Young people have time to explore different avenues and try different things.

Do you need any prior knowledge or experience for your under 16s course?

No, absolutely nothing. It is good if you have an interest in the industry. We wouldn’t recommend that anyone applies for the course if they aren’t overly interested in the beauty industry, it would be a waste of their time. This course is designed for girls and boys that have had an interest in the beauty industry for a while now- those that love doing their own nails at home, those that love pruning their eyebrows- even on friends and family members. I remember being really young and giving my mum a pedicure- I’d get out the water and I’d have everything laid out. The course is aimed at people who have an interest in the beauty industry and just dying to get into it.

Have you seen an increase in interest from teenagers and young people in starting a career in the beauty industry?

Massively. I think social media has a lot to do with that. I think because there are so many treatments that you see all the time on social media and you see what these professions are like and what they’ve done. I think that it’s really easy to see why young people would develop an interest in beauty. They’ll watch somebody do a treatment online and be like “Aw that’s really cool, I’d love to do that and I’d love to make people feel good about themselves.” I think it’s really amazing.

There are so many ways you can take a career once you’ve got that fundamental knowledge to get started- you can literally do anything that you want to do! You can start off in the beauty industry but you can become a beauty influencer, you can write about beauty products, you can start a beauty blog or youtube channel to teach other people how to do things. It’s not just working in a salon and that’s it- there are so many things you can do. I’ve worked a lot and run my own teams at London Fashion Week and I got to do a lot of celebrities nails when I was down there- it was such an amazing experience and I think that for a young girl that doesn’t have any commitments and who can travel and do things- really the world’s your oyster! There’s so much you can do, it’s amazing.

What do young people have to offer the beauty industry as a whole?

Things evolve so much- I trained over 20 years ago now (makes me sound really old) but there are young girls that come in that have this passion for things that I would no longer be interested in. Things change- make-up was never big when I started out and I’ve never had this massive love for being a make-up artist but some of these young girls come in and their make-up is amazing. They’ve just watched tutorials and taught themselves. So I think it’s a new passion and a new generation of people who have grown up with social media and influencers so they’ve already learned a lot before they’ve even stepped through the doors. To be able to build on that knowledge is amazing because these girls are going to be insanely good once they’re qualified.

You can book the under 16s course on the BeautyBooker training hub here.

It’s good to know that young people have opportunities like Aberdeen Academy of Beauty Therapy courses available to them. Here at BeautyBooker, we will continue to encourage young people to join the beauty industry and promote opportunities for them. Sammy will also be attending the Ryan Power business bootcamp in July to give us all advice about beauty industry awards and what you should be writing in your award applications. You can book a place at the bootcamp here.

Written by: Kirstin Brown

Instagram: Thrifty Mango


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