?Jobs growth in haircuts
A veteran barber has lamented the lack of Bermudians — and women — in the haircutting business.
Theodosia Lambert, who has worked at Scratchie’s barber shop for 55 years, said that overseas haircutters had monopolised the industry because of a lack of island entrants.
A Bermuda job market brief published last year showed that only 53 of the 164 beauticians in Bermuda in 2017 were Bermudians, but the report did not have a category for barbers.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport said the Department of Workforce Development would fund training and apprenticeship programmes for Bermudians to train as beauticians or barbers.
Bermuda College also offers training in both areas and CedarBridge Academy has a programme for its pupils.
Ms Lambert, 78, said “That’s the hardest part because we always sit back and complain about foreigners coming into our country and taking over, but we don’t do anything.”
She added that many young people might not find the business attractive because it took dedication to be successful, although it was still a viable career option.
Ms Lambert said: “You have to be here in order to make money.”
She added that more women should consider entering the business, which is traditionally dominated by men.
She said the work requires patience and is a good fit for women.
While she would like to see more women in the industry, she warns they would have to be tough to survive in a male-dominated industry.
She said: “You have to be careful and know yourself, but this business is ideal for a woman.”
Her clients at the shop on Angle Street, North Hamilton, included children and people with autism.
She added: “I look forward to getting up in the mornings and coming to work.”
Ms Lambert, who still cuts the hair of some of her first customers, said there used to be three women barbers in Hamilton, but she was the only one still working.
Working out of North Hamilton premises is beneficial because of more affordable rents than in central areas of the city.
She might not have become a barber at all as her original life plan included training as a beautician.
But, after a visit to Scratchie’s as a young woman, she changed her mind.
She went to train in the United States and has worked at Scratchie’s since she returned home.
Ms Lambert explained: “When I came back, the job was here waiting for me. We worked that out before I left.”
Earlston “Scratchie” Lawrence, who retired from the business a few years ago, agreed that he would like to see more Bermudians become barbers.
“Barbering has to be something that you desire to do,” he said.
Mr Lawrence, 95, ran the landmark business for decades before he retired.
Now, a resident at Westmeath home for the elderly, he said the longevity of the business was directly related to his involvement in the community.
He said: “It was a passion for me. That’s how I became famous. I took pride in what I did and how I did it.”
Mr Lawrence, a former medic for the Devonshire Cougars football team, added he never considered his barbershop work as being a job because he enjoyed it so much.
He said: “Everything I have been a part of, right down to my family, has been a joy to me.”
He added personality was important to success as a barber and that he always engaged his customers in good conversation and related well with all ages.