Caitlin Iley

BBCo report highlights role of personal care industry in educating its workforce

By Callie Iley | 30 April 2023 | Business, News

Bbco Report Highlights Role Of Personal Care Industry In Educating Its Workforce

The personal care industry in the UK plays a key role in providing opportunities for education to its workforce, as highlighted by statistics from the British Beauty Council’s The Value of Beauty report.


The British Beauty Council (BBCo)’s The Value of Beauty 2023 report follows from the initial report in 2019. Oxford Economics were commissioned by the BBCo to contribute to the report, analysing the industry’s economic contributions.

The report shows that the personal care industry has supported the completion of just under 80,000 recognised qualifications in the 2021/22 academic year, with 70% being GCSE equivalent standard, and 21% at A-level equivalent standard, highlighting its key role in educating its workforce.


The Value of Beauty report also cites that in the 2021/22 academic year, 1,545 students in the UK enrolled in specialist personal care industry degrees, with 1,160 studying hair and make-up, 375 studying beauty therapy, and 10 studying spa management, showing the value of the industry’s vocational education in developing the skills of its workforce.

Noting that 77,000 qualifications with specialist applications were completed by students in the 2021/22 academic year, the report highlights that these qualifications were supported by the industry through its offering of practical work experience to students.


Of the 77,000 qualifications completed in the 2021/22 academic year, the BBCo report that 69% were completed to level 2 (equivalent to higher-grade GCSE qualifications) standard, and a further 21% were completed at level 3 (foundation-grade GCSE) standard, and 9% were entry level or level 1 qualifications.

The Value of Beauty report records that 42% of the courses completed were in hair services, with beauty treatments following closely behind, making up 39%. Introductory courses offering basic training made up 6%, and 4% of courses on holistic treatments, such as massage and acupuncture, were completed.


While the BBCo’s report found that those across the beauty industry are less likely to be educated to degree-level than workers in the economy as a whole, they are also less likely to have no qualifications whatsoever. In comparison to the rest of the economy, the personal care industry is much more likely to employ those educated up to A-level or equivalent standard.

In contrast with 55% of the retail industry, The Value of Beauty details that 64% of the beauty industry is educated up to-A level or equivalent standard, with this level of qualification generally being sufficient to enter the industry.


The report finds that the most common qualifications across those in the industry educated to A-level or equivalent standard are the RQF29 level 3 qualifications, held by 44% of professionals; trade apprenticeships, held by 25% of professionals; and A-levels, held by 15% of professionals.

The BBCo’s report notes that the beauty sector offers a pathway for social mobility for those who either weren’t able or didn’t want to pursue higher education, citing statistical modelling which suggests that those in the industry, particularly those educated to below degree level, are more likely to become business owners or managers than those in the rest of the economy, regardless of their educational background.