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Deficit in qualified leaders threatens spa industry’s future26 July 2017Hiring qualified employees continues to be a challenge for many members of the International Spa Association (ISPA) globally, according to a recent snapshot survey.Approximately 40% of respondents indicated it was somewhat difficult to find and hire a qualified spa manager, while 24% reported it was very difficult to do so.“We believe that the lack of qualified spa leaders poses a significant threat to the future success of the spa and wellness industry globally,” says Kate Mearns, past chair of ISPA and USA Regional Director for the Global Membership Program (GMP). She continues: “The GMP, which is an initiative of the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), is designed to connect, inspire and advance spa, wellness and hospitality professionals to support the needs of our growing industry. Our goal is to engage our experienced managers with newer managers to foster, encourage and support professional growth.”This is in response to a 2012 GWI research study, authored by Ophelia Yeung and Katherine Johnston, who projected that with continued industry growth, the global spa and wellness industry would require an estimated 2.8 million persons employed by 2018. And by 2020, the industry would require an additional 400,000 trained spa therapists and over 70,000 experienced spa managers.As previously reported by Professional Beauty, GMP recently launched an online platform allowing wellness professionals (i.e. mentors and mentees) across the globe to connect.Since its inception in 2014, GMS has experienced dramatic growth. With the appointment of nine Global Regional Directors and 46 Country Ambassadors, GMP is rapidly connecting spa and wellness professionals around the world to address leadership shortages in the spa and wellness industry. The Regional Director for Africa is Emmy Stoltz, owner of Spa Fusion and board member of the South African Spa Association. GMP Country Ambassador for South Africa (2017-2019) is Taryn Lilley, spa manager at Cape Grace.Registration for GMP is free. For more information visit the following sites:www.globalwellnessinstitute.org/career-developmentwww.mentorshipevidence.com (with a direct link to register online)