Billion dollar beauty business

Published on 24 February 2017

Beauty students at Bedford College’s High Street training salon Brooks are being introduced to new career paths in the multi-billion pound business.

They have linked up with Debenhams via former student, Gemma Knight-Primonato, who is now Sales Manager at the Bedford High Street department store, to offer 8 placements every 5 weeks in the beauty department of the store, allowing students to fulfil the work experience requirement of the course.

“Since I trained at Bedford College in the 1990s, the beauty business has moved on tremendously with young people taking much more interest and learning from on-line tutorials by vloggers. 

‘When I qualified I went into women’s fashion retailing but via Debenhams have now been able to come back to beauty. I previously worked at Milton Keynes but after having a child wanted to be nearer to my home in Kempston so moved to the Bedford High Street store. 

“Seeing Brooks students across the road I want to get them more involved in our make-up and beauty activities as we have some really cool things going on. Beauty trainees can be great advocates among their friends for new brands and products and in turn we can offer them some insights into career options.

"In addition to in-store retail and advice work, trained beauty therapists can follow career routes with big brand names where they travel around training staff in salons in new techniques and products. In some cases this can lead to fantastic assignments, photo shoots and more.”

Gail Cocozza now Executive Director at Bedford College, was one of Gemma’s tutors and said: “This is a great business link-up and will help to make parents and pupils understand that training in beauty at Bedford College’s working spa and salon from the age of 16 can lead to a wide variety of opportunities with large organisations as well as jobs with local salons. We have trained young people who have moved up to working in places like Center Parcs as well as hotels, clubs and spas at home and overseas.”

Debenhams has announced it will support the annual Hair and Beauty Show planned for May 4th at Bedford Corn Exchange. The event attracts national companies and local salons as sponsors and judges and is a fashion highlight of the town centre.

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