ONE of Hampshire’s leading barbers has expressed his concerns to the Prime Minister about the education of young people going into the world of work.

Trevor Mitchell, who owns salons across the county, said that he is worried about how young people have a lack of “work ethic” as a result of less on-the-job training.

In a letter to David Cameron, Mr Mitchell said that he has taken on dozens of college graduates who fail to meet the skill-set required to cut it in hairdressing, and the problem is becoming critical for those in the hairdressing industry in the UK.

He said: “I have no problem in principle with attending college to pursue the art of hairdressing but the courses are delivered, I feel, in a very diluted way and are very heavily biased towards academic learning, with a shortage of on-the-job training within the steadying environment of a salon.

“They follow the ‘bags of leave’ school ethic and even the hours do little to replicate a hard day’s slog in a salon, not to mention not having to work on Saturday.”

He added that he has had to re-train many of his employees because of this, and he is also concerned that the minimum wage is hindering employers.

He added: “It certainly comes to something when our industry’s hard-working salon owners and managers could be facing the wrath of our own Government with their introduction to a “name and shame campaign” coupled with potential £5,000 fines for not paying the minimum wage.

“Don’t they realise that the cream of our hairdressing nation was founded on tough apprenticeships filled by ambitious and hungry youngsters who never received the minimum wage until they qualified?”