Members of the Ghana Association of Barbers and Barbering Salon Owners (GABBSO) should avail themselves for training programmes to build their competency on the job, Mr. Osei Assibey-Antwi, the Mayor of Kumasi, has advised.
He said the barbering industry was undergoing a tremendous transformation in terms of knowledge, technology, and science, with a particular focus on the safety and satisfaction of the customer.
Consequently, it will take the innovative and creative barber to harness the prospects along the value chain which presented a lot of opportunities for the Ghanaian youth, he observed.
Mr Assibey-Antwi, who was addressing the Fourth Quadrennial National Delegates’ Conference of the Association in Kumasi, challenged the members to show seriousness in their chosen profession.
“Meeting global standards in the barbering industry should be the aspiration of the members,” the Mayor advocated.
Branding, marketability, proficiency, and customer care ought to be taken seriously, he noted, adding that these were key to adding value to the skill sets acquired by the local barbers.
The two-day conference was on the theme, “Building our Industry through Quality Education and Training”.
It discussed the Skill Development Fund, curriculum for barbers, international exchange programmes, entrepreneurship skills development, and training for the members.
The conference sought to highlight the state of the Ghanaian barbering industry, opportunities, and challenges, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, which had significantly reduced face-to-face contacts.
It further aimed at mobilizing barbers and shop owners to promote their welfare, while protecting their interests.
Mr George Kwame Dogbe, the National Secretary of GABBSO, said members could only survive in the industry through education and training.
Touching on how the COVID-19 had impacted the industry, he stated that the pandemic had brought a huge financial burden on most barbers.
Therefore, the government ought to be supportive of the industry to ensure its long-term growth and improve the livelihood of the key players, the National Secretary appealed.
Mr. Manu Bashir, Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Enterprises Agency, called on the GABBSO leadership to encourage members to work assiduously to acquire proficiency certificates to penetrate the international market.
Mr Ishmael Ralf, a GABBSO Executive Member, urged non-members to strive to apply for membership to help expand the industry and also streamline the activities of barbers in the country.