A surge in buddingentrepreneurs has seen a leading London beauty school hand out a record numberof qualifications this year.
The Beauty Academy, whichhas branches in London Bridge and Kings Cross, trained 1,136 women and men in2014.
Of those 283 received NVQLevel three qualifications, 391 NVQ Level two qualifications and 462 diplomas.
Vanessa Rose’Meyer, thesenior make-up tutor for the company, said: “Beauty is big business –especially in London.
“Our courses appeal toyoung people who are entering the workplace for the first time and older peoplelooking to retrain and try something new. A lot of them dream of being theirown boss – something working in this industry affords.”
The number of beautybusinesses in the UK has risen by over a fifth in the last four years,according to data from Barclays Business.
But London has seen themost dramatic rise of 33%.
Vanessa said: “You wouldthink the market was saturated but actually it’s an industry that justcontinues to grow.
“People who train withThe Beauty Academy can see the wealth of opportunity out there.
“They realise they canstart up small with minimal costs, work for themselves, strike that elusivework life balance and grow in what is a stable and lucrative marketplace.”
The proliferation ofbusinesses, which include beauty salons, hairdressers and tanning parlours,contributes £4 billion to the UK economy.
The majority of beautybusiness SMEs are sole traders (62 %), with 6% of owners under the age of 25,more than twice the rate of under-25s owning SMEs more generally (2.3%).
In addition, a quarter ofbeauty businesses are owned by men.
Vanessa said: “Men’sstyling has been a significant growth area and we are seeing increasinglylarge numbers of men signing up.”
The most popular coursefor men at the Kings Cross branch of The Beauty Academy is in eyebrow shapingbut numbers are also increasing on for manicure, facial, waxing and evenmake-up artistry.
One student, AndreaTomeo, who completed his training this year, said celebrities such as DavidBeckham and the cast of TOWIE had made male make-up more mainstream.
The 27-year-old, who livesin Wimbledon, was scouted as a model as a teenager but decided to train as abeautician after seeing a gap in the market for experts who really understandmale grooming.
Since completing hiscourse he has landed a job as Business and Development Manager for a leading make-up artist who has worked for big clients to include AngelinaJolie.
He said: “I think thereis a shortage of salons specifically for men which is probably why so many guyslike me are choosing to train in this area.”
For more informationabout The Beauty Academy and the courses on offer visit www.thebeautyacademy.org