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.

Dog grooming is a growth industry, which has seen a surge in demand for the service 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 that 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.

Nationally since the start of the pandemic 3.2million households brought home a pet of some kind.

From 2020 to 2021 there was a boost in dog numbers from 9million to 12million, and with 17 of the 20 most popular dog breeds needing regular grooming or treatments this has led to a big surge in demand.

And with many people considering a complete change of career and outlook following the COVID 19 pandemic, working with animals in a flexible way is an attractive option.

Sarah Mackay and Fern Gresty, who run the Cheshire-based canine sector-specific awarding organisation iPET Network, which supports training providers around the country in providing the high-quality qualifications, 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.”

In the UK in 2019 830 people received certificates in a Level 3 dog grooming qualification, this has risen to 895 in 2020, but more are still needed.

To find out more about studying at the Bone Idol Academy go to  www.boneidol.co.uk/academy

To find out more about iPET Network courses go to: www.ipetnetwork.co.uk

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