New skills passport launched for film and TV hair and makeup professionals

2 April 2024

A new ‘Trainee Skills Passport’, launched at the United Makeup Artists’ Expo in Liverpool on 24-25 March, has been developed by Bectu’s Hair, Makeup, and Prosthetics branch to support artists to succeed in the UK’s film and TV industry.

The trainee passport, which is optional to complete, provides a useful guide – both for new entrants, and those transferring to the industry from allied professions – to the skills needed to work in hair and makeup departments in the film and TV industry.

The resource contains information on industry terminology; makeup, hair styling, and wig skills; and other relevant skills; as well as checklists for trainees to complete. It will help support individuals’ professional development by providing a framework for trainees so they can evidence their achievements and use this to gain further employment opportunities.

There is no set route for career progression for film and TV hair and makeup artists in the UK, and career and skills development is largely up to the individual. The lack of information on working requirements can be confusing for new entrants and those wishing to transfer to the industry.

The passport will therefore help trainees bridge the gap between education and the realities of the workplace.

Through tracking their skills and previous work, artists will have a personal record of accomplishments, and be able to identify any gaps in their skills that they can fill through on the job training.

Download the passport here.

Co-chair of Bectu’s Hair, Makeup, and Prosthetics branch, Jackie Sweeney, said:

“Within the hair and makeup sector, there is nothing documented about the skills a trainee should have once they leave education. The lack of structural guidance makes it difficult to know how to progress and develop the relevant skills, so this resource is a great way for the industry to better prepare and nurture new entrants.

“The Trainee Skills Passport will give hair and makeup artists a better idea of industry expectations, but it’s not just a tick box exercise. It’s about embedding skills over time across all departments, and offering a deeper understanding of what is needed to progress in the industry.

“The success of the passport relies on supervisors and heads of department interacting with both the passport and the trainee. We hope that industry professionals will use this resource to support trainees to identify skill gaps, and to drive meaningful conversations about career progression.”