Professional Recognition May Curb Skills Shortfall

by | 31 Oct 2022

University of Limerick research points to potential impact of recognised continued training 

Post-Covid skills shortages may be improved by more professional recognition for hairdressers, new research suggests. 

Conducted by the Management Development Unit (MDU) at the University of Limerick and funded by Image Skillnet, the report highlights a critical need to develop a skills and talent pathway for hair professionals in Ireland, including a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) framework that supports those working in the sector and that addresses the skills needed to support further growth of the sector. 

 According to Central Statistics Office data, the hair and beauty industry employs 25,800 people, throughout 9,286 businesses, and is worth an estimated €2.6bn to the public purse. However, with new trends, technologies and techniques, the industry is also evolving which means upskilling and new training is an essential part of the profession. 

 The MDU’s research highlights that establishment of such a training and upskilling framework would allow consumers to make more informed choices when choosing a professional service and would also endorse training providers. An established framework would also reduce the cost of ongoing professional development through collective participation. 

 The survey was carried out during the pandemic and highlights how hair salons saw extensive restrictions and closures due to the nature of the work and close contact with clients but demonstrated resilience and creativity.  

 Image Skillnet network manager, Margaret O’Rourke Doherty, said: “Professionals within the hair and beauty industry are continually engaging in upskilling and talent development. Recognition of learning through a formal CPD framework will help strengthen both the external and internal status and skillset of the industry and those working within it.” 

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