Pet-loving students who are wondering what to do after their GCSE and A-Level results are being encouraged to consider a career in dog grooming by industry experts.
Grooming is a growth industry, which has seen a surge in demand since the puppy boom during the pandemic.
Grooming salons around the UK are struggling to keep up and Ofqual-regulated awarding organisation iPET Network, which offers dog grooming qualifications, is appealing for would-be groomers to sign up and become part of the growth industry.
Scott Learmouth – who runs the Bone Idol Training Academy, in Hove, and the Bone Idol Salon, in Brighton – says dog grooming is the perfect career choice for an animal-loving student who would like to be entrepreneurial in the future.
He said: “Any GCSE or A-Level leaver who would like to be an entrepreneur or start their own business in the future should be looking at dog grooming as an industry of interest right now.
“The salon has been packed out with bookings ever since it was allowed to reopen and the iPET Network qualifications offered by the training academy have seen a record number of sign-ups.”
He added: “The pandemic has been so tough, but coming out the other side it is all the more clear that we have a growth industry on our hands.
“We have seen so many different types of people, from former cabin crew to armed forces veterans and office workers signing up to take the iPET Network courses. People have had the opportunity to reassess their lives, or have lost jobs, and dog grooming is a fun and creative new start for them.
“Likewise at the salon it is safe to say that it has been packed! It’s wonderful to be back, but it’s clear that the industry needs to expand to keep up with demand. It is a really exciting time for dog grooming.”
Sarah Mackay and Fern Gresty run the Cheshire-based canine sector-specific awarding organisation iPET Network, which supports training providers around the country in providing qualifications.
They said: “The demand for dog grooming has never been stronger and these millions of new puppy parents need to be reassured that the groomer they choose holds a nationally recognised qualification.
“Sadly, because of the pandemic lockdowns some grooming businesses in the UK have not survived. That coupled with the giant demand the remaining ones are experiencing means only one thing – we need more qualified groomers.”
Accoridng to iPET Network, in the UK in 2019, 830 people received certificates in a Level 3 dog grooming qualification, which rose to 895 in 2020.