A barber’s shop is offering a new career to those who have been made redundant from the recession.

Gent in Purley has just launched its new barbering academy and promises those who complete the course “a job for life”.

Gent, in Wytecliff Road, has been trading for three years and has picked up several accolades including best new enterprise 2007.

Now, in a first for the area, owner Daniel Rouah, 51, and master barber Pasquale Castricho, 39, have decided to pass on their skills to the next generation of barbers.

Daniel said: “We are going to teach all aspects of barbering and male grooming.

“After the course the students can walk into a job. We’ve had a lot of interest already and our first course is booked up.

“A lot of people are looking for a new career, especially those who have lost their jobs, and everyone is a candidate.

“I’ve had one guy I think is going to sign up who was made redundant. He was really interested.”

Daniel added his 13 week course would differ from others in that it would have daily practical experience meaning the students are thrown in at the deep end.

Master barber Pasquale said: “The recession means lots of people are out of a job but this is a job for life. It is a trade and an art. All you need is a comb and scissors and you can get a job anywhere in the world.

“And you can work for someone else, work for yourself, or freelance. You will always have work as people’s hair always grows.”

Daniel added the career was a great one if you wanted to meet people and make new friends.

“It is very therapeutic, sometimes you are like a counsellor”, he added. “It is fantastic and it is such a great feeling when you make people feel like a million dollars.

“We get some people who come in and by the time they leave it is like Saturday Night Fever.”

The barber’s shop is offering two courses. The first is a 13 week intensive course for people who have no prior experience of barbering. The second is a 10 day refresher course for those who have not worked as a barber for a while and are coming back to the profession.

The courses were launched on Friday, February 20 by Bradley Ellis, British GT Champion 2007.