Barbering Training & Apprenticeships

Barbering a summary:

An Apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience, along with functional and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context.

This broader mix differentiates the Apprenticeship experience from training delivered to meet narrowly focused job needs.

Barbering has a unique position within the hair and beauty sector, as it combines traditional skills such as scissors over comb and shaving with new specialist techniques such as 2D and 3D sculpting. The 'unisex era' saw many traditional barbers retiring from the industry and a consequent loss of skills. The recognition of specific barbering skills is reflected in this framework and is part of the strategy to strengthen and retain traditional skills while also addressing the skills gap where client demand requires new techniques.

Barbering services are increasingly in demand from men who are interested in personal well-being and grooming. This is a reflection of changing social patterns.

The men’s grooming market has been growing annually for more than a decade. Further growth is expected in the services required in both specialist barber shops and in general hairdressing salons which want to better reflect the expectations of male clients.

The increase in demand for barbering services by a new generation reflects further social changes, including a greater need to provide African Caribbean barbering skills. This is not confined to the African Caribbean community and people of mixed race, but to a wider society increasingly influenced by African Caribbean fashions, styles and music.

Depending on the pathway followed and level achieved, learners completing an apprenticeship will undertake roles such as:

  • Junior Barber (Intermediate Level)
  • Barber or Senior Barber (Advanced Level)

Careers may take place in a variety of locations including working in barber shops, hairdressing salons, spas, hospitals, care homes, prisons, department stores, hotels, airlines.

Aims and objectives of the apprenticeship(s)


To provide a nationally agreed apprenticeship framework for a work based learning route to employment in the industry using qualifications that combine both skills and knowledge which is based on the latest research from employers.

There are approximately 2,967 specialist barbering businesses in the UK employing more than 5,300 barbers. This is in addition to the 36,000 hair salons who offer services to men and women.

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