It’s SB Academy Time, If You’ve Got It, You’ve Just Got It

After 8 years of hard work I feel I can say that SB International Barbering Academy is at the forefront of Barbering education in the UK and beyond. The dream was to produce confident, highly-skilled barbers, schooled in all aspects of barbering, from traditional techniques to modern barbering innovation. Our award-winning, qualification-based courses and workshops are designed for barbers of all levels from beginner to advanced. I wanted to provide a working environment that would see our learners get that real apprenticeship within the barbershop feel. Our learners cut and deal with our diverse range of clients from day one with full assistance from our experienced educators. This continuous flow of real clients allows us to maintain a tried and tested tempo of hands-on learning throughout every course. We’ve worked hard to build a vast clientele here during our 7 years occupying this amazing space.

Running things my way can be stressful for us SB educators. We take the brunt of the work in the early days finishing every cut to the standard we are renowned for, it can be challenging but the best possible method to get our barbers up and running independently. It’s fast-paced, exciting, informative and there is never a dull moment. I hear a lot of negative feedback about academies that run intense training programs, but I believe if done right the intense training regime is far more effective than a one to two days a week yearlong college course. That’s the confusion you see, people judge without knowing the facts, I’ve trailed a 2 day a week course here in SB over a longer period and those who attended every day left me more confident and dare I say at a higher standard. That’s why I decided to switch. It’s all about the learning hours completed whether they are done all together or split, it’s up to the place delivering the courses. I know my stuff after 12 years in the education sector and I know what works and what doesn’t. I’m not afraid to take constructive criticism from students and shop owners who take our graduates in for mentorship. This helps us continually improve our programs and deliver the best education we can evolving with industry standards. 

I am proud of the family feel environment within the four walls and have expanded my team with people who have had training through SB.  My fellow trainers know how we work and understand the process of becoming a barber and educator. 

Meet the team

Longing for a creative career, Shai entered the barbering industry 4 years ago with a steely determination to succeed. Quickly excelling as a young trainee, he appreciated how a simple haircut could transform someone and, in some cases, alter how people felt about themselves.

As a past SB student and one-time apprentice of the year, Shai appreciates the importance of a meaningful barbering education and is perfectly placed to help future barbers fulfill their potential here at SB. Shai also works in our barbershop, so he is always working at industry standards. This is very important alongside our in-house training to continuously develop as a barber and educator. Shai is an unbelievable person and a firm favourite among our learners.

Sammy joined the SB educating team in late 2019 having completed a refresher course which led to her gaining a job at our sister company, the iconic SB Barbers. After 7 years working there, she felt she wanted to give back to the industry through education. Known for being a highly skilled barber, Sammy has a passion for education, and her positivity, patience, and professionalism make her a great asset to the academy. Her determination to be the best possible trainer she can is paving a great career for her at SB. 

Ry the owner of the iconic Smiths Barbers (@sbbarbers) has a reputation for his flawless classics. We often see him pop in to give a hand with the Level 3 learners or run a fade day with Vikki. His calm and laid-back manner is a winner during our workshops. He frequently invites small groups from the academy over to Smiths to watch and learn from the team. 

With over 25 years in the industry as a barber and educator, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience over two decades in a constantly changing, trend-driven profession. I had a burning desire to provide a positive, personal learning experience of the highest caliber. SB has grown beyond my wildest dreams into what it is today, and it just keeps getting better,

I have been headhunted recently for a role that has blown me away. It’s all-top secret now but it will see me developing education further throughout the UK if it rolls out like planned. Whatever happens, there are plenty of opportunities for us as a brand to expand and make a bigger stamp within the educational sector, we will just have to see where fate takes us.

Finally, we can’t forget our behind-the-scenes workers Laura and Ian who run everything that is not education and beyond. Also without our front-of-house face, Jeff, who keeps the academy floor running as smoothly as possible.

It takes a team to run this place as there is so much involved than meets the eye and I am under no illusions without them SB wouldn’t be what it is today.

I am unbelievably proud of what we have created here.

Learners will never be just a number to us, it is all about the individual and their experience with here. Even when they leave us, one of the team is always on the end of a phone or a message away. In 8 years, I have made the most amazing friends whom I am honoured to watch develop and grow on their barbering journeys.

Some of the barbers we trained are making huge waves within the industry, I burst with pride when I see what people are achieving!

About Author /

Ruby launched ZeroGapped, the magazine for the barbering women of the world, after noticing that there was a gap in the market. ZeroGapped combines her love of publishing and barbering, in one spot online.

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