A DOG-GROOMING academy has been “inundated” with applications after people around the country decided to make a career change in the wake of coronavirus.

Dog groomers and pet shop Bone Idol in St James’s Street, Brighton, has set up its own academy to train would-be doggy experts with a range of courses at its school in Blatchington Road in Hove.

Since opening six weeks ago, the Bone Idol Academy has received a high number of applications for its vocational courses, which range from pampering pooches and grooming to learning how to save a dog’s life.

Academy director Helen Kirby believes the first lockdown gave people time to reflect on their work situation and some have now decided to turn their love for dogs into a business.

She said: “Coronavirus has made people really consider their futures and many people are looking to start their own businesses.

“If that new start is in dog grooming, our courses can give people the high-quality skills they need to really make a success of it.

“We are already booked until mid-December and we are only six weeks old.”

Currently anyone setting up as a professional dog groomer does not have to be qualified, which Helen said can bring problems for customers, as they do not know what to expect in terms of quality of care and grooming standards.

But Bone Idol Academy is on a mission to raise the standard of canine care and aims to set a gold standard for groomers by providing formal iPet Level 3 qualifications in dog grooming, dog training, workshops and more.

The school welcomes students with any level of experience and offers practical training as well as lessons in business management so they can kickstart a new career.

The level 3 diploma in dog grooming and salon management is a 30-day course which must be completed over six months and is designed to be flexible for students’ needs, for £4,500.

Helen said: “We believe that a level 3 qualification should be the standard expected from any dog groomer.

“You can learn how to groom your own dog in one day or complete a level 3 diploma in dog grooming and salon management in 30 days – plus everything in between.”

As a training provider centre overseen by Ofqual, the Bone Idol Academy is able to stay open during lockdown.

The school has coronavirus safety measures in place and can be flexible for students unable to attend classes.

There is also a range of shorter courses available for dog owners, including dog first aid and grooming your own dog.

Bone Idol founder Scott Learmouth said: “Coronavirus and the lockdown was a real time for reflection and people are starting to think, ‘what can I do to enjoy my working life?’.

“It has been a really hard time for all businesses and we do consider ourselves very lucky to be allowed to remain open.

“Support local Brighton businesses wherever you can because it is very hard right now.”

For more information on all the courses available at Bone Idol Academy, visit www.boneidol.co.uk/academy.