The new Beauty for a Better Life international education programme uses beauty as a stepping stone to employment and inclusion. The scheme targets people facing hard times, women who have been victims of violence, young people who have left the education system, and the unemployed.
By giving them access to training in the beauty and cosmetics fields, they learn how to take care of themselves and regain their self-esteem. The L’Oréal Foundation broadens their horizons and offers them a new outlook on life through creative occupations which strengthen their independence and provide them with numerous employment opportunities.
Launching a hairdressing business
By offering several career options, hairdressing is one of the five preferred CAP choices of young people*.
The L’Oréal Foundation decided to join forces with Apprentis d’Auteuil to offer these young people the chance to train as hairdressers.
On 10 September 2012, the first class of 13 young people began an intensive two-year vocational training programme at Thiais technical secondary school. This scheme has the distinction of training students in a scholastic environment, with on-site practical exercises organised in a specially-equipped space. Less common than apprenticeships, this format is better suited to young people in need of structure and strict supervision. Another major difference is the involvement of L’Oréal’s hairdressing experts, who help develop the curriculum, equip the applied-training space and teach courses.
* (Affelnet Study, Versailles Academy, June 2009).
Beauty for a Better Life international
The programme is already up and running in a dozen countries and has produced some promising first results. In Vietnam, for example, 300 women were trained over three years, helping them become financially independent, with incomes three to eight times higher than before. In Brazil, out of 130 young people from underprivileged neighbourhoods who received training in Saõ Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, 70% went on to find work.