When Gina Yates was made redundant from a customer services role she hadfilled for 15 years, she had no hesitation in reinventing herself.
The 34-year-old, from Manchester, who has a self-confessed “obsession”with her own nails, decided it was time she made her hobby her livelihood.
“I had only ever dabbled with at home manicures so I knew I needed toget some training,” she said. “I was a little worried about covering the costsbut I have been quite lucky on that front.”
After speaking to The Beauty Academy, which is based in Lever Street,Manchester, she discovered she was eligible to take advantage of the 24+ loansscheme which can cover the cost of a Level 3 course for students over 24.
Loans have to be paid back but repayments don’t start until April 2016and you don’t have to pay anything back until you earn more than £21,000 ayear.
“It made the whole process a lot easier for me,” said Gina.
Her first course was a Level 3 Diploma in Nail Technology.
Since she completed that in June 2014 she has gone on to train in spraytanning, eyelash extensions and eyebrow sculpting.
“I adore my job,” she said. “Beauty is a timeless industry and one thatis not nearly as effected by things like the recession as many otherindustries. After all, we always want to look nice and have nice nails.”
Gina currently has a part-time mobile beauty business but she is hopingto get a business grant next year and open her own salon.
“Taking a course with The Beauty Academy was the best thing I ever did,”she said. “I learn best when in a fast-paced learning environment and reallyenjoyed my days at the Academy.
“I also can’t praise the staff enough. Both the tutors and head officestaff have been so helpful and full of encouragement throughout my course.
“In fact I’m hoping to do further courses next year and am thinkingabout the NVQ L2 & L3 in Make up.”
So what is Gina’s top beauty tip?
“I’ve learnt so many things,” she said. “But I would say my best beautysecret is to warm your eyelash curlers under a hairdryer for a few secondsbefore using them. It gives a really impressive curl!”
The Beauty Academy has 11 centres across the UK and offers a wide rangeof beauty courses for all levels. For more information about the centres andcourses available visitwww.thebeautyacademy.org