student wins at national barbering competition - MK College

Milton Keynes College student wins at national barbering competition 

A student at Milton Keynes College has won the Best Student award at a national barbering competition.  

The Raw Talent Barbering Competition 2023 took place at the ExCel venue in London on 15th and 16th October at the Salon International event. Ben Pearcey, a Level 3 Barbering student, was chosen as the winner of the Student category out of six finalists. 

Before the final event and during the early stages of the competition, learners collated ideas on what hairstyle or image they wanted to achieve. The learners had free reign to do anything they wanted and use their creative flair and technical skills picked up during the course. Learners came in during the summer holidays to understand the competition requirements in further detail and put together their entries.  

Two learners from the College – Ben Pearcy and Jai-Li Rayneau – were selected as finalists for the competition and attended the Salon International event with their tutors.  

On the day of the finals, Ben and Jai-Li were tasked with setting up their model and equipment and completing their haircut and finish in just 45 minutes. The styles were then assessed by the judges, with the students answering various questions relating to the techniques used and their choice of hairstyle, with Bn Pearcy eventually announced as the winner in the Student category. 

Phil Ferrer, Barbering Lecturer at Milton Keynes College, said: “We are ecstatic that Ben won this competition. It means the world to be part of Ben’s journey and see his growth. At MK College we are passionate about supporting our learners and helping them to reach their full potential. This wouldn’t be possible without the team – not just the staff at the College but also each and every inspiring learner on the Barbering course.” 

“Competitions are important as they are the perfect way to challenge the learners and gain the recognition they deserve. At Salon International the team spirit and support from everyone was infectious, evoking energy within the crowd.” 

“Ben’s commitment and passion towards the course is truly inspiring. Ben is always the first to arrive at College and has a keen desire to learn, continually stretching and challenging himself to further his skills. I was completely blown away by Ben’s entry into the competition – you could clearly see Ben’s creativity and determination to go above and beyond for the competition. Ben is a great role model and ambassador for the course at MK College, representing and living our core values.” 

“We are so proud of Ben and every learner that joins our course. Times like these bring us so much fulfilment and this is why we love our job. Congratulations Ben, now let’s focus on the next competition! 

Ben Pearcey said: “Well first off, I would like to thank everyone involved in the organising of the competition and all the support I’ve got from my friends, family, college tutors Phil, Tonia and everyone at no1 barbers and Dean in helping me to become the barber I am today. The feeling of winning the competition is amazing and I hope to feel it many more times in the future. It’s so rewarding to get the recognition from others who are so big in the scene and great to know all my hard work is paying off.” 

To find out more about the College’s barbering course, visit