Basseterre, St. Kitts — When the People Employment Programme’s Project Manager, Mr Geoffrey Hanley, shared his dream of starting a school of cosmetology that would enable all budding cosmetologists training under the programme come under one roof, he received the support of the government.
Indeed, at the opening of the PEP School of Cosmetology at the Newtown Community Centre on the 1st of November last year, doing the honours of opening the school was the Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Earl Asim Martin, who was accompanied by his Cabinet colleague, the Hon Marcella Liburd.
According to PEP’s Training Coordinator, Mrs Celia Christopher, Mr Hanley’s dream of bringing all the cosmetology trainees under one roof is slowly taking shape, as three groups under facilitators Ms Juliette Queeley, Ms Amoy Arache, and Ms Petra Newton are already operating from the Newtown Community Centre, where the PEP School of Cosmetology is situated.
“We however suffered a temporary setback when our cosmetology facilitator for a class that was based at Greenlands resigned from PEP before we would have moved the students to the Newtown Community Centre to join the others,” explained Mrs Christopher.
“The trainees in that class went home for three months as we tried to sort out to find a facilitator. However, in the interim we had other facilitators come in who taught them life skills. Recently I was informed by the PEP office that they had found a new facilitator.”
The new facilitator for this cosmetology class is Ms Tenesha Garroden of Sandy Point, who trained as a cosmetologist at the famous Brittany Beauty School in New York. Since her return home, she opened her own business Appearance Matters Beauty Salon in Sandy Point.
Ms Garroden, who took over the responsibility of training the 13 students in that class earlier this month, will be doing it from the Newtown Community Centre, but will not be joining with the other combined class because they are way ahead in terms of training, while she has new trainees who need to learn right from the start what the syllabus offers.
“She is starting out with getting them to prepare their portfolios and so on so they can start on a clean bill,” observed Mrs Christopher. “We are using the TVET document to do the programme. I have equipped her with all the tools she needs to do the programme, and so that is where they are at this time.”
Ms Garroden explained that she is going to give the best she can to the students. She will base it on the strict training she received from the Brittany Beauty School in New York, whose mission seeks to afford its students the opportunity of a quality education in the appearance enhancement field.
“I am looking at building human resource capacity so that when for example if my salon or any other salon is looking for someone to employ, there will be qualified persons out there,” stated Ms Garroden.
“Other entrepreneurs could also draw from this wealth of knowledge. The aim of this course is to get them certified through TVET at the CVQ level. I will be able to take them through it. The course should take nine months.”
The students were earlier this week further empowered when they were issued with their PEP School of Cosmetology training kits.
“What is in the kit will assist them do their practical work,” explained Ms Garroden. “They will be able to do roller-set hair styling, cutting, facials, and by using the mannequin – anything that entails any physical touching of the hair. They cannot do it without this kit. We will be doing the practical work right here in the class and upstairs where we have the salon.”
The kit has in it a mannequin bag and stand, natural bristle brush, three ½ inch styling irons, a blow dryer with two attachments, a roller set with 144 pieces, a spray bottle, a styling shear, 40 double prong pin curls, a shampoo cap, a hair shear, and 12 butterfly clips (3 green, 3 pink, 3 blue and 3 orange).
Also included in the training kits is a neck duster, a hair shaper, a pack of 12 white perm rods, a pack of 12 purple perm rods, 12 duckbill clips, a rat tail comb, a trimming comb, a detangling comb, a large and small black dye brush, a pink applicator brush, a tint brush with comb, a pair of black gloves, a plastic bristle brush, and two plastic buck bill clips.
A trainee in Ms Garroden’s cosmetology class, 21-year old Ms Tovia Burgan of Parsons Ground was praised by her facilitator for being a time-conscious student who arrives at the training venue in Newtown very early even though she lives quite far from Basseterre.
“Before I joined PEP I was at home doing nothing,” explained Ms Burgan. “I wanted to know about cosmetology, I wanted to know about hair style and fashion and beauty. I love doing hair a lot. I have been doing it at home in Parsons Village.
“In the little time I have been in this class, I have learnt a lot about how to do things from the theory we have learnt. Now with the kit that has been presented to us, I am looking forward to learning more practical work, and I thank PEP for recognising us – the young people – by allowing us to train in the areas of our choice.”