Habia launches skills academy for hair and beauty sector

    Habia is to develop a national skills academy for the hair, beauty, nails and spa sector.

    The initiative - which will be partially funded by awarding organisation VTCT as founder sponsor - will see the creation of a network of centres across the UK, with Habia acting as a central hub providing guidance, information, recognition of excellence and advice on best practice.

    Skills academies work in partnership with other organisations across the education and training system, leading networks of high quality, specialist learning providers. The aim is to work together to address skill gaps and raise standards of learning delivery in skill shortage areas.

    They encourage and enable employers to be more involved in the design and delivery of learning in their sector so that it better meets their needs, developing a workforce with the right skills for the future. Skills academies have a mainly co-ordinating and leadership role rather than a delivery role, except where there is an obvious gap in provision.

    The Habia Skills Academy will be a separate division of Habia, though a logical extension of its role as the government appointed industry authority and sector skills body.

    Its role will be to: 

    • Drive and deliver professional development by improving educators' skills 
    • Develop in-salon learning by increasing employer engagement in the education process
    • Create or connect networks for educators, managers and learners to share knowledge 
    • Create innovative learning provision, products and services that meet the needs of employers, educators and learners
    • Address skills gaps and shortages, particularly in specialist industry areas.

    Specific objectives will be to create an online, virtual academy; establish a network of Centres of Excellence across the UK; and develop a programme of educator training programmes in skill shortage areas.

    Alan Goldsbro, Habia CEO, said, "This is our 25th year, and it's fitting that in our anniversary year we see the launch of this major initiative. Our sector already has a reputation amongst other industries and government for the quality of its training provision, but the Habia Skills Academy will take that to an even higher level. We will draw on our 25 years of experience by working with employers and educators to develop a training system that is the envy of all others."

    He added, "The Habia Skills Academy is not government funded, whichgives us a degree of independence, thanks to the substantial donation from VTCT to cover the start up costs. We will need additional sponsors and collaborators to come forward and support individual strands of work in their areas of interest. Under the current economic climate there is a clear expectation from government that addressing training and skills issues has to be a partnership of employers, educators and industry organisations - instead of the traditional top down, purely publicly funded approach. Government funds will be focussed mainly on education at Level 2 and below. Those that will benefit from higher level and specialist skills will be expected to make even more of a contribution in future. The Habia Skills Academy will help ensure there is up to date, high quality learning provision available across the UK. "