ABIC Sees Addition of Beauty Salon Managers and Beauty Therapists to 2022 National Skills Priority List

As the beauty market grapples with staff shortages ABIC Director and CEO Stefanie Milla discusses the importance of the 2022 National Skills Priority List, as told to Anita Quade.

One of the most exciting parts of our industry is that it is innovative and quickly evolving, with a cornucopia of new and advanced modalities and methods to treat skin and improve people’s self-confidence. This characteristic makes beauty and aesthetics so exciting, it is also one of the key contributing factors to our long standing and worsening skills shortage.

Various factors are at play, one of the most evident is that the vocational education system has struggled to keep pace with the advancements in our field and equip the industry with synchronously skilled professionals. This element, when compounded with the exodus of therapists moving into other industries due to the impact of COVID lockdowns, has created more of a skills crisis than a skills shortage.

Despite this, for over a decade our government powers that be, had consistently grappled to understand and recognise our very real challenges and we have been consistently omitted from the Skills Priority List.

What is the Skills Priority List Report?

The Skills Priority List Key Findings Report provides a detailed view of priority occupations experiencing labour shortages nationally and across Australian states and territories. As well as covering the current labour shortages by occupation, and future demand for occupations in Australia.

The list and occupation assessments are determined through extensive statistical analysis of the labour markets. This includes employer surveys and broad stakeholder engagement with peak bodies, industry groups, professional industry associations, unions and regional representatives’ bodies, combined with federal, state and territory governments. Understanding this, it is easy to ascertain why our industry hadn’t made it to the list – until very recently our field did not have an umbrella association that could speak for the combined sectors of our industry with a strong voice.

There were 129 occupations assessed as being in shortage in 2022. This year, Beauty Salon Manager and Beauty Therapists where finally among those included in the Skills Priority List.

Why is this list important?

Because by formally identifying the occupations that are experiencing labour shortages, industries can lobby governments and other relevant bodies to identify and implement solutions. The beauty industry is now officially able to address, and ask for solutions for our skills shortage concerns with government from a legitimately recognised, informed and acknowledged position.

The Aesthetic Beauty Industry Council has worked consistently and diligently over the past year to provide feedback to the National Skills Commission, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment and other government representatives to inform and advocate for our industry skills shortage, among so many other important industry needs. We would like to also take this opportunity to thank our industry professionals and related associations for their contributions, especially those that have supported ABIC in this endeavour.

For years as an industry we were overlooked, now together, we are being heard. With so much more work to do to advance beauty and aesthetics, we urge you to unite with ABIC and become a member. Our strength is in numbers and our voice is louder and more resounding in unison.

To become an ABIC clinic, visit this link, or contact info@theabic.org.au.

This article first appeared in the November-December 2022 print edition of Professional Beauty.

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