According to the British Beauty Council, 75% of STEM-based roles in beauty are occupied by men, and only 33% of 10- to 13-year-olds in the UK aspire to enter a STEM career. STEM professions are essential to beauty. The industry could only exist with individuals specializing in scientific product formulation, packaging innovation, supply chain, and webpage design, among many more. To encourage younger generations to pursue a career in beauty across all sectors including STEM, the British Beauty Council has launched the Future Talent Programme. The initiative "is dedicated to highlighting career pathways to young people, aged 11-18, inspiring them to see value in their current education."
As stated by the Council, across the UK, 600,000 jobs exist within the hair and beauty industry, contributing to almost £30 billion of the British economy. The Future Talent Programme was created to ensure the industry's success can carry on by inspiring the next generation of sector experts. The British Beauty Council collaborated with production company Bespoke Banter to create the scheme, with funding from L'Oréal, No7 Beauty, Estée Lauder Companies, Superdrug, Deciem, and The Fragrance Foundation. The Council hopes to uplift younger generations, showing them the significance of beauty careers in STEM, which they feel have been underestimated for a long time.
"As a young person, I never knew of the abundant and fulfilling careers available in the beauty and cosmetics industry. I worked as a hairdresser, and only by trial and error did I end up with the colorful career I have managed to create. We want this programme to fast-track young people towards suitable career options, thus ensuring we have a seamless flow of talent," says Millie Kendall OBE, CEO of the British Beauty Council.
The program launched at 10 Downing Street with full backing from the government's Department for Education, as well as The Careers & Enterprise Company, and STEM Learning. The reveal coincided with the beginning of National Apprenticeship Week across Britain. "The industry is worth billions to our economy and, as the Future Talent Programme will demonstrate, offers a great route for young people to launch careers in science and technology. As a former apprentice myself, there has never been a better time to launch this new programme than National Apprenticeship Week. Doing an apprenticeship means you earn while you learn and gain the skills and knowledge businesses really value," comments British Education Secretary Gillian Keegan.
The project will be rolled out in British schools through the Beauty STEM Ambassador Programme, where industry leaders visit pupils, sharing their expertise, experiences, and advice. STEM Learning estimates that the pilot phase covered over 25K schools and 10,424 teachers via a dedicated newsletter. After the initial rollout, the Future Talent Programme is set to explore different sectors, including marketing and communications, buying and merchandising, and much more.
To help bring awareness to the program, the British Beauty Council worked with influential people close to Gen Z's hearts, including the founder of Vieve Jamie Genevieve; beauty influencer Plastic Boy; and makeup artist Robert Welsh and his brother, skincare YouTuber James Welsh, known together as The Welsh Twins. A series of short films were created with these individuals exploring STEM opportunities, including cosmetic science, sustainability, fragrance, and technology. The films express the importance of beauty for all, with questions asked such as: “Not sure beauty is relevant to you? Did you brush your teeth this morning? Apply sunscreen?” The Council also worked with Meta, who supported digital advertising, and JCDecaux for out-of-home advertisements, including billboards.
“I am delighted that the British Beauty Council is taking steps to develop the Future Talent Programme to showcase how a career in beauty tech really is open to everybody. The potential that tech has to offer the beauty sector is unmatched, with developments like AI, the metaverse, and NFTs providing tech opportunities for STEM graduates,” concludes Paul Scully MP, British Minister for Technology and Digital Economy. “This is an incredibly exciting industry to be a part of, and we want as many young people as possible to be involved in its overwhelming success. I look forward to seeing what the next generation of beauty pioneers will create."
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