First what it isn't - it's not a building. It will be a virtual academy, linking existing providers of excellent education and learning for the hair and beauty sector and signposting employers and learners to them. The academy will work with providers to develop their programmes to meet the latest skill needs, filling skill gaps and skill shortages.

    These issues are described in more detail in the Habia Sector Qualifications Strategy and supporting research papers available on the Habia website.

    What's the vision for the Habia Skills Academy?

    In five years time:

    • Barbering skills will have survived
    • Beauty therapists will be delivering IPL and laser treatments with confidence
    • Services for African type hair will be more widely available 
    • Each salon and spa will have a member of staff able to recognise skin, hair and scalp disorders and know what can be treated in the salon and what should be referred to a GP or trichologist
    • Clients will be provided with hair extensions effectively and safely 
    • New skill shortages will have been identified and a clear plan of action put in place

    The HSA will act as the catalyst to address these skill needs. Habia and VTCT will work together to develop innovative provision, products and services that can be cascaded with a network of excellent learning providers and other partners to reach the whole industry.

    In general terms the priorities for the HSA will be to:

    • Raise the quality of the learning experience
    • Raise the aspirations of learners by raising the skills of educators, ensuring educators can perform skills and have the know-how to teach skills at an inspirational and credible level 
    • Raise employer expectations of the learning experience and learners' capabilities
    • Raise respect and recognition for the sector in the eyes of Government and society in general

    How will the Habia Skills Academy do this?

    The HSA will do this by:

    • identifying and signposting this excellent provision and providing e-learning solutions through an online academy and website
    • creating a network of Centres of Expertise assessed and badged as providing high quality training and meeting industry needs and committed to cascading excellent practice in their region;
    • driving and delivering professional development for educators, who will then cascade it through regional networks and from there throughout each region so that employers and learners can access the skills needed to meet client demand. This will:
      • transform the quality and quantity of technical skills in the targeted skill shortage sub-sectors: barbering, African hair techniques, nail technology, hair and scalp analysis and hair removal using IPL and laser equipment, prioritised according to demand; 
      • connect enterprise and business skills with technical skills in learning delivery to help new and existing businesses survive and thrive
      • Cascade excellent practice in the delivery of training and qualifications in hair and beauty