Funmi Ogundare
The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) have concluded plans to develop a national occupational standard for the beauty industry in the country.

Speaking at a one-day stakeholders’ forum recently held at the LASTVEB Headquarters in Lagos, the Executive Secretary of LASTVEB, Mr. Olawumi Gasper, emphasised that the field of beauty therapy/cosmetology has grown over the years, hence the need to exercise its mandate to train, re-skill and up-skill the existing skilled workforce in the industry to be globally competitive.

He affirmed that proper training, certification and licensing would enable current practitioners to progress into globally acceptable professionals and would serve as veritable antidote to unemployment among the teeming youths in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.

“As a responsible and responsive government that has recognised the immense opportunities in the industry, it is our statutory responsibility therefore to provide a platform for the practitioners in the industry to come together towards developing the National Occupational Standards (NOS) that is a nationally recognised instrument for the training, certification and licensing of skilled professionals in the industry.”

He stressed that if the industry’s potential is properly harnessed, the benefits could be doubled with the current population of Lagos State put over 18 million people.

Gasper enumerated the areas of the beauty trades that would be focused on to include spa/massage, hair removal, skin treatment care, cosmetic surgery, health food, manicure and pedicure, barbing, deodorants/perfume, childcare cosmetics, consultancy and training, raw materials and product assessment, public relations/advertising, human resources and administration.

In her remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Opral Benson Beauty Training Institute, Mrs. Opral Benson, commended the Lagos State government’s efforts towards revamping professionalism in beauty trades, and expressed her readiness to support the project so that professionalism and competency could be attained in the beauty profession.

The founder of Elegant Twins School of Cosmetology, Chief Adebisi Osisanya, said she was part of the initiative when it was first inaugurated by the state government in 1978 and expressed delight that what they started then is finally becoming a reality in her lifetime. She reiterated the need to re-introduce standardisation and enforcement to be adhered to by all practitioners.

Responding to questions by some stakeholders, a representative of the NBTE, Sulaiman Yusuf, stressed the need for the beauty industry to form the sector skills council which, “we believe will go a long way in facilitating the recognition and approval by the NBTE. Language should also not be a barrier in skills acquisition because communication can be done in the language of the people involved.”

The forum, which technical working group is under the chairmanship of Mrs. Fela Durotoye, founder House of Tara with membership from other organisation in the beauty sector, resolved to constitute a working group recognising the skills trade areas in the beauty industry.