A FORMER soldier is cutting it in civvy street with his choice of new career.
Rob Carver, 24, is studying at East Durham College (EDC) to become a barber, and he has just gained a third-place medal in the regional heats of a competition held by the National Association of Hairdressers and Therapists.
At just 16, Rob, joined the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, but he had to be discharged on medical grounds in 2009 after injuring his back while serving in Afghanistan.
It was his experience of cutting his fellow servicemen’s hair that led him to his new career.
Rob, who lives in Woods Terrace, Murton, with his partner, Kayleigh Hocking, 22, and six-year-old son, Joshua, had a few different jobs after leaving the Army, including working as a security guard and at a car seat factory, but he became unemployed after an injury to his foot.
After hearing about the barbering course at the Peterlee-based college, Rob decided to enrol.
He said: “I used to cut the lads’ hair when I was in the Army, and I cut my brother’s and mates’ hair, so I knew it was something I could do.
“I thought I might as well get the right qualifications and maybe one day open my own business.”
He added: “I am thoroughly enjoying the course, although it’s a lot different from being in the Army.” Rob said he was thrilled when he found out he had come third at the competition in the Men’s Commercial Cut and Finish category.
He said: “I was well pleased with that. After I had done the cut and the judges had been round, I had to leave because it was my uncle’s funeral, so I didn’t find out I’d been placed until later.”
Rob was one of a team of more than 30 hairdressing, barbering and beauty therapy students from EDC who took part in the regional finals last week, battling it out in 15 categories against hundreds of other students from seven other colleges from across the region. He will be part of the college team which travels to Blackpool next month for the national finals.