Where have all the therapists gone? There aren’t enough NVQ Level 3 trained therapists

risk management therapist training Sep 13, 2021

Last week we began a discussion with Nikki Spicer, Spa Director at Vita Skin Spa about the recruitment challenge and skills shortage that the spa industry is facing post pandemic. Having discussed the issue of those who have left the industry during Covid, today we wanted to look at the skills shortage and training challenges.

A combination of a lack of NVQ Level 3 qualifications as well as the limitations placed on training during the pandemic has left those new to the industry without enough practical training to gain confidence, technique and customer service skills.

Nikki says:

“There aren’t as many people coming into the industry either. A lot of colleges seem to have stopped doing NVQ3 in particular, which is disappointing. The people who have trained during the Covid year are not as well practiced as before because most of the training was online. They might have only practiced a bikini wax once and they’ve done no work experience because it wasn’t an option. Instead, they have been given a project to do, so they don’t have anywhere near as much practice as normal. I have still taken new people on but I have definitely found the level of skill is not up to the normal standards, so it’s harder to recruit from college for new starters.”

Another thing that Nikki highlights is the recruitment process and the lack of communication between salons and schools: 

"There aren’t a lot of industry specific recruitment platforms, which I think adds to the problem, and there isn’t a great link between colleges and salons. I contact them to say that we have jobs for new starters, but they don’t ever contact me and I think that should be part of the offering on these courses - to help students find jobs.”

This is not a challenge that’s unique to the spa industry. Educational bodies as a whole have often been criticised for providing training but no practical path into the industry. Perhaps now is the time to start working more collaboratively for the health and wellbeing of the industry?

At Jennifer Young we offer higher level training to support therapists in their ability to provide spa treatments to vulnerable clients by understanding technique, risk management and the rationale behind both. 

Next week, we will discuss how the pandemic has not been the only problem facing the Spa Industry. There is a long term problem of high turnover within the spa industry despite booming business and high demand. 



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