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Exam Results & Great Job Prospects
Scottish Spa Academy students achieve 90% employment in 2010
3rd August 2010: The Mary Reid International Spa Academy in Edinburgh is bucking the national trend of poor employment opportunities for graduates, by achieving a 90% conversion rate from students passing their degrees to securing jobs in 2010. This is one of highest success rate for any Further Education establishment in the UK.
While the rest of the graduate community continues to struggle to find skilled employment, Spa students are entering a booming sector, where employment is at a premium. This is largely due to high investment and growth in the global spa industry, the resulting availability of new vacancies, and even some skills shortages.
Across many other industry sectors, the picture is less than rosy. The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) issued a damning report at their annual conference in July showing that students graduating in 2010 are facing a 6.9% drop in vacancies, following the 8.9% decline in 2009.
The drop in vacancies has caused a corresponding increase in the number of applications for each much sought-after graduate job - the average now stands at 69 for every vacancy, compared to 49 last year and 31 in 2008.
Brian Hunter, Principal and Owner of the Mary Reid International Spa Academy, explains why he feels Spa students are succeeding while others continue to struggle:
"The rapid growth of the Spa sector, and resulting skills shortages has made it easier for spa students to find employment. Also it is clear that the students who get the best jobs are those that develop skills relevant to their employers. I think too many courses offered by Universities and Colleges in the UK teach ‘generic' skills that do not meet an employer's needs. That is one of the reasons why graduates struggle to find work."
Mary Reid has introduced several schemes in 2009 and 2010 that forge a direct link between the needs of Spa employers, and what is taught in the syllabus. This year the Academy introduced an ITEC accredited "Spa Therapy Course" which teaches spa therapy skills specifically requested by Spas.
Their ‘Spa Business Project' also guides students through the practical and operational side to running a spa, and regular placements to some of the UK's leading Spas ensures practical experience lies at the heart of the teaching programme.
"There is no doubt that practical, hands-on training, and the development of industry specific skills makes Spa students more employable."