The Cosmetics Cluster UK (CCUK), along with project partners, Cosmetic Executive Women UK (CEWUK), The Cosmetic Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA), The Society of Cosmetic Scientists UK & Ireland (SCS), CATCH and the London College of Beauty Therapy (LCBT) is spearheading an initiative to produce a white paper that encompasses building awareness of the UK’s 4th biggest and strongly growing industrial sector and the science behind it, plus building on this awareness with educators.
Cosmetics and personal care products are considered essential for the vast majority of consumers as part of their daily lives, not only for basic personal hygiene, but also for well-being and self-esteem. A recently launched report by CEW UK puts UK sales in 2017 at £10.2 billion. The world’s 6th largest beauty market comprises of 1700 companies, 40,000 products and 1800 brands. The industry also has strong female leadership involvement and offers opportunities for the employment and training of women and an exciting way of engaging more girls into STEM subjects.
The beauty industry continues to flourish, even in times of economic uncertainty and hardship – the so-called ‘lipstick effect’. It is innovative, dynamic and creative and highly reliant on science and technology to ensure product safety, develop new products, support marketing claims, manufacture to the highest standards and meet increasing consumer demands for ethics, sustainability and traceability.
Dr Gill Westgate, chair of CCUK said, “Given these impressive statistics, the first step of the initiative is to find out what pathways people working in the industry currently take and how their careers have developed. Also, we need to find out what training have they completed and what they perceive are the skills gaps, to ensure we future-proof the UK’s fastest growing consumer-driven industry, including technological advances and industry 4.0”.
Following this research, the white paper will Identify and bring together all interested parties and partners, whilst mapping the cosmetics and personal care businesses in the UK across the supply chain.
The paper will also recommend developing a real-world, science-based national curriculum, in partnership with government and produce cosmetics and personal care career pathways for schools, colleges and training providers, whilst reviewing what courses are already available, including apprenticeships and upskilling existing employees with the Apprenticeship Levy.
In turn, it is believed this will demonstrate increased employability in the industry, across the areas of manufacturing, product development, R&D, support services and beauty services.
Caroline Neville, MBE, President of CEW UK, concluded, “CEW is delighted to be supporting this important initiative. One of CEW’s core missions is education. This research will we hope deliver a clear pathway into the cosmetic industry, with a focus on scientific and technical jobs for the next generation of young people”.
To take part in the survey or for more information, please visit https://www.cosmeticsclusteruk.com/workforce-skills