THE CITY’S mayor is proving that Sunderland barbering students are ‘shear’ perfection, after becoming one of the first paying customers to receive a trim at a college’s new city centre salon.

Councillor Alan Emerson, who was elected as Mayor of Sunderland earlier this year, has been treated to a stylish new hairdo, after students at Sunderland College’s City Campus welcomed their first VIP client.

James Mould, who is completing a level 3 qualification in barbering, was the brave student who stepped up to give the mayor his new hair style.  James from Doxford Park will be one of 17 students that will run the City Campus barbers when it opens its doors to the public later this month.

James said: “It was a little daunting, for the mayor to be the first paying customer in our commercial barbers, whose hair I have cut, but he was a really relaxed and was quite happy for me to do something new with it.

“It will be great to be able to put what we have learnt into practice when the barbers opens next month.  We hope that being based in the city centre will help us attract a large number of customers, giving us the chance to gain more hands on experience and prepare for the working world.”

Sunderland College is the first college in the country to have both a training barbers salon and a professional salon.

The barbers is part of the newly-opened City Campus and is home to more than 2,000 vocational students.  As well as hair appointments, the public can make use of a spa, with a long list of treatments, and an 80-seater Bistro, which will open its doors later this year.

Councillor Emerson said: “It was great to visit the salon, to see the fantastic facilities on offer and to meet the talented students who are developing their skills while delivering a great level of service.

“Vocational study provides a great chance for people to learn the theory needed to succeed, while also getting the hands-on experience they need in order to hit the ground running in the workplace.  Sunderland College’s new City Campus is a perfect environment for students to train, while being able to offer a stunning place that real-life customers can enjoy year-round.  It’s a huge boost for the city centre and something that will set the pace for other colleges across the region.”

College principal and chief executive Ellen Thinnesen said she was delighted to see the mayor getting behind City Campus and making use of its facilities.

“We were delighted to welcome the mayor to City Campus, and to be able to show him the great talent that exists here.  We are hugely thankful to both the mayor and the City Council for the ongoing support they give the college and our students.”

“City Campus is for everyone.  Our students will benefit immensely from this great learning environment, while the people of Sunderland can access a fantastic space to make use of the services we are able to offer – from hairdressing to our Bistro – meaning everyone reaps the benefits.”

To find out more about City Campus, visit www.sunderlandcollege.ac.uk.