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Empowering Migrants Through Hairdressing

Written by Sahar Sharifi, Communications Officer at CRMC.

It all started with an idea of a pamper day for the clients at Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre which then evolved into a potential work opportunity.

MiFriendly Cities and Building Bridges collaborated and organised this fantastic opportunity for clients interested in hairdressing. This was an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Course in Hairdressing. Majority of the clients were experienced hairdressers in their country of origin however were not able to exercise their profession in the UK due a lack of UK qualifications. The purpose was to empower them and gain employment in their area of expertise and their passion.

“I personally thought the hairdressing event was excellent. I love the way the ladies had all shared their ambitions and their next steps to journey into work. I just wanted to say thank you and keep up the good work.” – Toni (Centre Director)

The pathway consisted of four phases from the initial assessments to a placement and eventually employment. Firstly the clients had a taster day to find out more about the hairdressing industry in the UK. This took place in a local salon in Coventry called HairLab, where the staff carried out some demonstrations of different hair and beauty services. The clients also had a chance to showcase their skills within the hair and beauty industry.

This followed on to a 10 week English course where they would learn all the specific language used in a hair salon. They learned how to provide excellent customer service to clients, names of equipment used and many more hairdressing related sessions. All the students have successfully completed their 10 week ESOL course and prepared a power point presentation on the celebration day where they introduced their ideas for their future salon.  

“We learned new experiences and had a lot of support from everyone” – Shabana (client)  

 “I enjoyed the course and thank you so much to everyone” – Samar (client)

Following this phase the clients will be looking for placements in order to work in a salon environment and gain new skills getting them ready for college and the future.

 “Preparing this course has been a challenging experience as it is not just teaching English, we are combining specific skills and specific language to give the clients the vocabulary and language that they would need in order to continue with hairdressing courses and work experience in the required field of interest. We wish all the best to our clients and will continue to support them on their journeys.” (Farida, Building Bridges Project Manager)

Congratulations to all the students on completing the English for Specific Purposes Course in Hairdressing.

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European Union & Urban Innovative Actions

This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.