The Benefits of Apprenticeships

The Benefits of Apprenticeships

Nurturing the next generation of therapists and professionals, Vitality Editor, Becci Vallis spoke to Diane Hey, to find out what you need to know if you’re considering taking on an apprentice.

Diane Hey, founder of the government-approved Armonia Training Academy and BABTAC Board Member, has championed the benefits of employment-ready training for the spa industry and has worked on several UK Government initiatives to raise and maintain standards for both trainees and employers.

“I’ve always wanted to furnish our apprentices with the things I learned on the job after my training, and what better way to learn than in a job,” explains Diane. “Our mission is to enable employers to develop thoughtful, empowered, highly skilled therapists and sector professionals that our industry so badly needs – this can be, and is, successfully achieved with apprenticeships.”

Providing structure and relevant business skills in a real working environment where new knowledge and behaviours can be applied, the apprenticeship route provides a comprehensive pathway for both apprentices and employers and is also a really good organic way to grow your business and the people in it.


When done well, apprenticeships provide an increase in treatment hours and research shows that over 80% stay in industry employment with 64% likely to continue with the same employer once their apprenticeship is over, extending the overall average length of stay of an employee. This is fantastic for employers as they’ll already be well integrated into your salon culture or spa operation.

There are also financial benefits as a business and in England, apprenticeships are funded up to a minimum of 95% and can use the employer levy funds, or reserved funds for non- levy paying employers. There are also employers’ incentives subject to eligibility and age of the apprentice. To access these, employers must sign an apprenticeship agreement which will identify how long the apprenticeship will last, the training plan, who will deliver which aspects, what the employer will provide for them, their working conditions and what the apprentice is working towards.


It’s not always easy to walk straight into a job and with apprenticeships open to applicants from aged 16 upwards it provides clear direction and motivation for those who know they want to pursue a career in the beauty, holistic and wellbeing industries. All apprenticeships vacancies in England are visible and posted on the National Apprenticeship Service, under find an apprenticeship.

Hands on experience is invaluable, as is learning from peers, appreciating how a business runs from the bottom up and integrating with clients and guests day in, day out. “We’ve found that apprentices learn quickly and can apply that learning practically while also earning a wage,” says Diane. “Also, being able to showcase their ability and track their progress while learning and earning leads to personal development and greater workplace satisfaction.”

England Model

  • Apprentices can work for up to 40 paid hours a week, but ideally work no less than 30 hours per week, they are not able to be employed for less than 16 hours per week.
  • At a notional English level 2, for a beauty therapist make-up consultant or nail services technician, the apprenticeship would last a minimum of 12 months, for a beauty therapist it is typically 15 months, all English apprenticeships must last a minimum of 12 months before entering gateway and End Point Assessment. Off the job training (OTJ) must equate to 20% of employment and all evidence must be confirmed with the employer.  Progression routes onto notional English level 3 continue with Holistic and Wellbeing Therapist apprenticeship standard or Advanced Beauty Therapy Standard. Apprenticeship standards can be located
  • The end point assessment is accessed following successful achievement of the on programme learning and entering gateway. It is graded Fail/Pass/Distinction for notional English level 2 and Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction for the Holistic and Wellbeing Therapists and Advanced Beauty therapist, notional English Level 3
  • On successful recruitment you as the employer would employ the apprentice, paying their wage and the government would fund their learning. This enables the Training Academy to deliver and support them through their beauty professional apprenticeship standard.
  • The employer has to offer apprentices the same employment conditions as other employees working at similar grades or in similar roles.

Devolved Nations operate variable models. For further guidance and information or to begin building your talent pipeline contact