Learning for Work Award

Naomi-Louize

2021 National Winner

Following difficult visits to the barber with her son, Naomi saw a gap in the market to provide barbering services for those children with special educational need and other disabilities. Returning to learning aged 25 to gain the qualifications required, Naomi is now pursuing a career as a qualified barber.

After growing up in care, I was a single mother to twins at the age of 16 who was struggling to balance my responsibilities as an adult. Fast forward 10 years, and I returned to further education at 26. My motivation was to provide a barbering service for those children that are living with special educational needs and disabilities that wasn’t out there, following difficult experiences with my own child.

I enrolled on a Level 2 course at Bolton College in a mixed age and male dominated class and I was unsure about where this learning journey was going to take me, but I was determined. I have always wanted to provide a stable and positive family life for my children, and returning to education has enabled me to do this.

I have now completed my Level 3 course and I have my own clients who trust me in a community within which I feel accepted. My motivation is to provide a kind and understanding barbering service for children and adults with varied difficulties. I am working towards a long and successful career as a barber and to become financially stable for my children.

My first learning experience as a child wasn’t positive, but adult education has improved my outlook on life, my confidence, and my communication skills massively.

Mandy Molyneux, barbering lecturer and coordinator at Bolton College, said, ‘Naomi is a lady in a predominantly male profession, but her determination and skill is second to none. Her life skills and confidence have grown immensely throughout her time college and she continues to pursue qualifications to enable her to fulfil her goal for herself and new community.’