Beautician courses offered by various technical and vocational centers in Pakistan are the most popular among the youth these days as they seek to acquire new skills to earn their livelihood.
The high demand for beautician courses could be seen as skills that would help students generate self-employment opportunities, said a research report carried out by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Pakistan titled “Issues and Challenges for Productivity Enhancement”.
According to the study, 14.5% of students enrolled in the vocational institutes opted for various beautician courses. It was followed by 12.9% of the students who chose to learn basic computer applications. Other trades include tailoring, diploma in IT, and DAE (Civil) which were opted by 11.5%, 6%, and 5.3 % students across the country.
Beautician courses are designed for three to six months by the institutes affiliated by TVET whereas various private institutions and beauty parlors mostly run by showbiz celebrities offer courses-cum-training for up to 1 year.
The curriculum is designed to provide training in make-up techniques, application of various machines, work, cosmetology techniques, and work ethics. Nearly 90% of the course depends on practical work whereas the eligibility of getting enrolled in this course varies from middle school to matriculation, which is one of the factors of high enrolment in this program.
Students may choose these fields mainly as beauticians to generate self-employment opportunities, the study added.
It has been observed that not only are trained female beauticians getting good jobs at beauty parlors but they also offer their make-up services at home individually or in groups on the occasion of wedding season and other festivities.
Providing make-up services needs little investment with no employment background though setting up a parlor requires healthy investment including expenses under rental, utility bills, etc.
The penetration of Mobile broadband remains instrumental in learning and marketing purposes. Social media helps them as a marketing platform as well, attracting a number of customers with little to no spending.
Besides, female beauticians in Pakistan are also producing content on their different digital channels such as Youtube, Facebook, and others to make money.
The report did not provide details of students gender-wise. However, the trend of male salons has been blooming during recent years, especially in posh localities. The salons also require trained staff to serve their clients which are increasing in cities due to changing lifestyles, fashion, and self-care.
It is ironic how the youth are opting for courses like beauticians, tailoring, and civil works, while the industry demands lower staff that includes data entry operations, driving, and clerical work. This demonstrates both the increasing importance of the services sector in the country and the declining interest of students towards fields with lesser growth opportunities, the report said.
The existing vocational and technical training ecosystem of Pakistan is not adequate to meet the needs of the present and incoming labor force. This is because of various issues that must be addressed by various stakeholders including the provincial government, industries, and technical and vocational centers.
There are 3,740 institutions in the country, including both from the public and private sectors, having a combined enrollment capacity of 187,393. However, Pakistan had 3.8 million people from its workforce as unemployed as of 2018, with 1.8 million being added into the unemployed pool every year.