National barber award for Shropshire student

A Shrewsbury College student has scooped first place at National barbering competition.

Chris Foster, BBA Director; James Roberts and Lynda Whitehorn from VTCT
Chris Foster, BBA Director; James Roberts and Lynda Whitehorn from VTCT

James Roberts, 16 from Bridgnorth got through to the finals of The British Barbers’ Association, National Student Barber of the Year 2017 last month, after stiff competition from other students across the UK.

Following a photographic competition, which had over 380 entries from colleges and training providers throughout the UK, covering three categories: Hair Cut and Finish; Facial Hair Design; and Precision Hair Cut and Finish – the final competition was judged by top industry experts Gary Machin, Chris Foster and Erik Lander.

James, who studies Level 2 Barbering at Shrewsbury College, was then revealed to win first place in the area of Hair Cut and Finish at the competition.

He said: “When they didn’t call my name out for 2nd or 3rd I was very worried I hadn’t been placed especially as the people who I was up against were very talented. When they called my name for 1st I was very happy I had won.”

The standard was extremely high this year and made it a hard choice for the judges who took several days to deliberate and decide who the three finalists for each category would be.

Erik Lander, BBA judge said: “Everyone who entered should be proud of themselves for taking part in the competition, it’s a great learning curve and I would encourage all student barbers to showcase their work through competitions and if you are not successful keep going, never give up! Your skills and work will get better each time you enter.”

Chris Foster, BBA Director said: “It was really encouraging to see the high standard of work from the BBA National Student Barber of the Year competition. It was really inspiring to see how students were looking at the suitability of style whilst pushing the boundaries of technical skill, so early on in their career. Competitions like this are vital for students to feel a sense of pride for the barbering craft. This pride will help then continue to work to the highest standard in the world of work.”

The winners which includes James, received a trophy and the title of BBA National Student Barber of the Year 2017 but also took away prize money of £500 and a goody bag of Andis Clippers and BBA Male Grooming products.

Jackie Swan, Curriculum Lead for Hair & Beauty at Shrewsbury College, said: “We are delighted with James’s achievements. He is a talented barber and as a result of this has secured his employment at Bull & Co. in Bridgnorth. We encourage all of our students to participate in competitions to showcase their talents and allow their creative flair to be demonstrated in such environments.”