Barbers in Ontario are facing the prospect of being forced back to school to learn how to do things like highlights and perms, some of them after decades of experience cutting men's hair.
New provincial legislation forces about 300,000 tradespeople to be certified in their trade, from electricians to home contractors.
In 1998, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities grouped all trades related to hairstyling — including barbers — under the trade name of hairstylist.
But the change to ministry documents and certificates of qualification didn't happen until earlier this year, and many barbers have operated without licences because they were rarely if ever enforced.
Now, operating without a licence costs employees a $195 fine and employers a $295 fine for first offences.
To get a license, barbers have to learn the new combined curriculum for hairstylists, including perms, colouring and more.
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