Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 29, 2013) — As it continues to empower the youth of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the People Employment Programme (PEP) marks a major milestone on Friday November 1 with the opening of the PEP School of Cosmetology Salon at the Newtown Community Centre in Basseterre.
Currently the PEP School of Cosmetology is on-going at the Newtown Community Centre, and according to PEP’s Project Manager Mr Geoffrey Hanley, the salon which has state of the art equipment, has basically been designed to assist those persons enrolled in the cosmetology field in terms of practical training.
“We thought it would have been a good investment to ensure that we have a facility that will be able to cater for the needs of the students who have been going to the regular business salons which can only accommodate five to six students at any given time,” observed Mr Hanley. “So now we would be in a position where we will be able to accommodate up to 25 students comfortably being able to do practical work.”
Mr Hanley observes that the salon presents an opportunity where young persons would be trained on a roll in, roll out basis. He also mentioned that an invitation will be extended to the high schools, for persons who are inclined in that field to do practical work at the salon, saying it was a golden opportunity for persons interested in cosmetology to train locally.
“It is another opportunity that PEP is providing for our young people in terms of being able to have them exposed to the state of the art equipment,” said Mr Hanley. “It also gives the facilitators an opportunity to be interacting with more students rather than just interacting with their clients or the five students who might have been assigned to them at their beauty salon.”
The way the running of the salon has been designed is that after persons would have graduated from the PEP programme, they would still be able to have access to the building in terms of being able to bring their clients on weekends to be able to do their hair and make monies from it.
After a period of time it is hoped that the persons would be already established in terms of having their own salon whether it is in a private place, or as some persons are doing now, adding on to their existing home to make that business part of their household.
The PEP School Cosmetology at the Newtown Community Centre started in July with 21 students and one facilitator. Today it has 24 students and two facilitators, Ms Juliette Queeley and Ms Amoy Arache.
According to Ms Queeley, the girls were first introduced to life skills, English at CXC, Principles of Accounts, Accounts and Office Administration, and later they were introduced to the Entrepreneurial Development module, which makes the entire training programme a well rounded one.
She noted that with the opening of the salon, the students will be able to do their practical work at their own facility which will accommodate all of them, as opposed to previous arrangements when they would go to private salons, which could only take a few of them, to do their practical work.
“The girls are ready for the salon as PEP has equipped them with tool kits,” observed Ms Queeley. “The tool kits have in them mannequins, blow dryers, combs, scissors, clips, pins, and rollers. The girls were issued with lab coats earlier on, and today they present themselves as true professionals in their field of choice.”
According to a PEP official Mrs Dianna Pemberton, who is coordinating activities leading to the opening on Friday, the opening ceremony will start at 10 am, and among the speakers, apart from the PEP officials, will be the Deputy Prime Minister and Area Parliamentary Representative the Hon Dr Earl Asim Martin, and the Hon Marcella Liburd who is the Federal Minister with responsibility for Gender.