Eden Hotel Collection launches the first-ever spa academy in the UK: The innovative new Elan Spa Academy

the spa academy

The award-winning Eden Hotel Collection, a luxury collection of nine UK boutique hotels, has announced the launch of its new Elan Spa Academy. The first of its kind to be launched in the UK, the Spa Academy allows talented and aspiring beauty therapists to earn as they learn as part of a new apprenticeship scheme.

Through a partnership with the International Beauty and Holistic Academy (IBHA), the Eden Hotel Collection now provides the opportunity for successful applicants to work for the luxury hotel collection on a full-time basis with monthly study release days. Recruits will gain a bespoke Level 3 Beauty Therapy qualification – and a huge amount of practical workplace experience – via three days of modular training per month, across a ten-month learning programme.

Available to qualified and soon-to-be-qualified Level 2 Beauty students, or those who have completed a Level 2 apprenticeship elsewhere and are now looking to expand their knowledge in a luxury boutique spa environment, the Elan Spa Academy will doubtless prove to be a highly-sought-after alternative to a college apprenticeship.

Founded in response to a shortage of high-quality beauty therapists, the Eden Hotel Collection is the only hotel group in the country to offer a remunerated training course, and is extremely proud to be a pioneer in this field.

 Lisa Redding, Head of HR at Eden Hotel Collection explains why the group has launched the scheme: “The new Elan Spa Academy has been designed to fast-track the skillset of aspiring beauty therapists within a high quality working and training environment, whilst underpinning the standard apprenticeship learning modules with premium product house training via ESPA. Our aim is to ensure that our apprentices develop the skills – and acquire the qualifications and experience – that are necessary to develop their career in the industry. Our purpose is to offer an entirely different approach and a really special opportunity for aspiring therapists to join a luxury spa collection at entry level.”

The Elan Spa Academy is sponsored by ESPA, which will further develop the apprentices’ skills by providing additional product and treatment training throughout each stage of the training journey.

Marian Hook, Director of Training, ESPA, ‎explains why the luxury brand decided to sponsor the Academy: “ESPA is very pleased to support this pioneering scheme, which guarantees that therapists will benefit from excellent employment prospects and an in-depth, recognised qualification. We feel this is a very exciting and important step forward for the spa industry.”

Seven therapists joined the first phase of the Elan Spa Academy when it launched in September 2018. They benefit from the incomparable skills and insider knowledge of experts in the field and, in return, the Academy seeks from successful apprentices not only commitment, hard work, and a positive, ‘can do’ attitude, but also an evident passion for both the industry and for Elan Spas.

The benefits to Spa Academy apprentices include an enhanced apprentice pay rate of £7.83 per hour, increasing upon completion of the qualification; guaranteed full-time employment at the end of the apprenticeship; excellent prospects and training; a dedicated mentor, and discounted hotel stays. Accommodation and travel costs related to their training are also covered.

Julie Speed and Debbie Moore, Directors of IBHA, explain why they are delighted to be providing the training for the new Elan Spa Academy: “With over 30 years of industry experience and training, we are able to offer relevant, commercially-led, high-quality training to young therapists, thus meeting the needs of the spa industry head on. The apprenticeship programme fits well with spas such as Elan, where treatment protocols are of the highest standard, along with excellent ESPA products and a focus on the customer journey embedded into the programme from day one. Throughout the course, apprentices will train in a real work environment, gaining first-hand experience, whilst working as part of an experienced spa team.”

The launch of the Elan Spa Academy follows the success of the group’s award-winning Chef Academy, launched by the Eden Hotel Collection in 2016. The Chef Academy has been a great success, with a 94% retention rate of qualified chefs within the Eden Hotel Collection following completion of their training.

The next intake for the Elan Spa Academy will be in September 2019 and will see the Academy expand to cover apprentices at Levels 2 and 3.