Britain’s Best Shaver; Andy Shares His Story

Andy Lakin was a skilled barber with over 15 years of experience under his belt before he came to Interserve Learning & Employment in 2016, even having owned his own barbers. Andy had already completed a Level 2 qualification in Hairdressing back in 2009, however he felt that he preferred to work with men’s hair instead. In order to ensure he was qualified and properly trained, even with all those years of experience behind him, Andy came to us to pursue a barbering qualification.

Making a change . . .

Andy was put in touch with Karen Taylor to complete his Level 3 in Barbering. Having had those 15 years of experience, he didn’t feel that the course was particularly tough, nonetheless he did still learn some new techniques that has helped Andy keep up with the ever-changing trends in the barbering world. He hadn’t had much experience in shaving, however through the guidance of Training Assessor, Kevin Boyce, he learned the skills he needed to become an all-rounded barber. All that he learnt throughout his apprenticeship, along with the support and guidance of both Kevin and Karen, led Andy to become Britain’s Best Shave Regional Winner for East Midlands, in 2017.

‘I wouldn’t have even entered that competition if it wasn’t for Kevin and Karen, let alone win it!’

Andy’s Ambition

Andy was low on confidence when he completed his Level 3 Barbering qualification, but had a passion for teaching. His ideal was to become a Training Assessor himself, so Karen introduced him to the idea of a Level 2 Team Leading & Supervising apprenticeship which Andy completed in the same year. He found this course slightly more challenging, but essential as he was introduced to different ideas and concepts that allowed him to progress within his career, and gain a whole host of transferable skills.

Both qualifications have opened up a lot of doors for him since qualifying. Alongside his role as the ‘Boss’s right-hand man’ at Magnolia Barbers, Andy was also approached by the barbering tutor at Vision West Nottinghamshire College, in Mansfield, to lead a class of eleven and teach them shaving techniques, which he does on a voluntary basis, twice a year.

Andy’s ambition now lies in teaching and mentoring, as he wants to build a personal relationship with his trainees, just as Karen and Kevin did with him. Andy’s boss values him as an integral part of the team at Magnolia Barbers and has therefore suggested working with Andy to open up a small training academy there. They will initially start off with one or two apprentices, who Andy can then train and mould into permanent employees.

Feeling Fulfilled

Andy’s apprenticeship made him realise that barbering alone was leaving him unfulfilled, and that teaching or mentoring is his true passion. Speaking about this realisation, Andy said ‘I would not have recognised this had it not have been for the support and guidance of both Karen and Kevin’. Andy comments on the ‘excellent after-care’ provided by the Interserve team that truly helped him progress in his career.

If you are looking to develop your career prospects, and realise your dreams, get in touch with our teams today at or call 0333 444 5055.

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