Education & Skills is one of the founding pillars of CCUK and in November, we participated in two events that allowed us to shine a light on careers in the cosmetics industry, as well as network with students and young ‘careerists’. Coincidentally, both events took place in football stadiums!
London Careers Fair, Tottenham Stadium, 10th November
Maria Rawson and Jane Evison braved the rather chilly, but packed foyer of the stadium to talk to many attendees who were looking for information about careers in the cosmetics industry, seeking help to find employment, or maybe a career change. We had some really interesting conversations with people who had never thought of our industry as a possible option for employment and it was great to open some eyes to the opportunities. We also featured job opportunities highlighted by our member companies, Holiferm, Personal Care Regulatory Ltd, Surfachem, Croda and Arthur Edward. We also had information to share about 6 amazing PhD opportunities on offer at Boots No 7 Beauty Company. The careers fairs are held in venues all over the country and next year we are considering attending either York or Leeds events, to move the focus up to the North next time. We were also able to discuss the growing need for computer scientists and data analysts as the industry develops in the area of AI/AR and gaming platforms in the metaverse.
Education Pavilion, SCS Formulate, Coventry Building Society Arena, 14th -15th November
Jane Evison and Gill Westgate joined experts from industry, academia and recruiters to help the SCS FutureSoc team to welcome students and newcomers to the show on a new Education Pavilion. As well as both being on hand to chat about their own career journeys, Jane was able to lead one of four tours of the show floor for students to meet exhibitors and hear about the different types of businesses present.
Careers in the beauty and personal care industry
As we in the industry are all very aware, the beauty and personal care industry is not just all about ‘selling perfume and doing hair and nails’. It is a dynamic environment where science meets creativity at every level in every part of the profession and is a place where women can find employment at all stages of their working lives, as well as drive businesses themselves.
It employs about half a million directly or indirectly in the UK and is worth approximately £20 billion to the UK economy (1). It is also part of a vast generally economically resilient global marketplace, led by such companies as L’Oréal, Estée Lauder Companies, Unilever and Procter & Gamble, as well as numerous small and medium sized companies. Thanks to the efforts of the British Beauty Council, HM government is now recognising the employment potential of the industry and its value to the economy. (2)
In addition, there are numerous companies in the supply chain for raw materials and packaging, product safety, compliance and testing, as well as university research centres. However, the scientific, engineering, creative, marketing and business skills required for the safe launch and manufacture of every new product are not often understood or recognised and the beauty sector is rarely top of mind in career planning at secondary school or in higher education.
Furthermore, students and consumers of cosmetic and beauty products are generally ignorant of the many, varied and rewarding jobs in the cosmetics and beauty industry and how these are deployed in the production of the myriad of products they use every day, due to lack of signposting in the educational system. Cosmetics Cluster UK aims to raise awareness of the many career opportunities and has been part of an ongoing industry collaboration including CEW, CTPA, SCS, LCBT, Croda, Orean, Arthur Edward and Estée Lauder Companies, which has conducted two industry surveys (3). Whilst the first survey showed that over two thirds of respondents felt they just ‘fell into their roles’, the more recent exercise demonstrated that more research is being done online in order to find careers information and respondents felt they were more informed about choices available.
1. British Beauty Council, The Value of Beauty report 2022. https://britishbeautycouncil.com/mp-files/value-of-beauty-2023-report.pdf/?nocache=1
2. British Government press release
3. Articles about Education & Skills surveys, 2019 and 2023:
British Beauty Council FUTURE TALENT PROGRAMME : The British Beauty Council
Beauty in Science The Beauty in Science : The British Beauty Council
Youth & Employment Cosmetic Scientist -Careers Guide (youthemployment.org.uk)
Degree and training courses (Cosmetic science):
De Montfort University, Leicester
University of Sunderland
Liverpool John Moores University
University of Bradford - new
Keele University - new
Chemistry, pharmaceutical and biology degrees, laboratory and higher apprenticeships
Courses - SCS Diploma, Introduction to Cosmetic Science, PPCS www.scs.org.uk
University of Birmingham – Fashion and Beauty
Trade associations offering membership, networking and training: