By Christopher Tobutt
It’s been two and a half years since Cayman Career Academy (CCA), Cayman’s first professional beauty school, opened its doors, with the aim to make top-flight, internationally-recognised CIDESCO qualifications available to Caymanians, without them ever having to go off-island. On Thursday 28 November they celebrated with an open house, so that those who are thinking about a career in the beauty and spa therapy industry could drop in and chat to the lecturers or current students about what the school can offer them.
Ashley Bodden was just coming out of the school’s entrance at the Smith Road Plaza. “I think this beauty school that’s just opened up seems really innovative, and something that Cayman needs, especially for those who want to venture on their creative side,” she said. “I am interested in facials, manicure, pedicure and I was asking them if they were going to be exploring more in the area of doing nail art, and nail extension and acrylics, because I am very interested in that field. From what I understand CIDESCO is the highest calibre of qualification you can get, and it’s very exciting that you don’t have to travel off the Island to get it. CIDESCO certification is almost like a passport to the rest of your career.”
Burns Wood, who comes from both Bodden Town and Honduras, has been doing a massage course as part of the beauty therapy course, although he has already worked in the industry for 18 years. It is his calling, and he plans to go into business on his own after he gets his certificate in medical massage. “In the whole of the Caribbean that can only be done here at the Cayman Career Academy,” he said.
Like many of the other CCA students, Narin Suetrong, originally from Thailand, already has considerable experience in working in the Spa industry, and is doing the CIDESCO Full Beauty Therapy Certificate. “I like what we learn from the school, because they go into great detail with theory, and far more depth than what I learned before in my previous training,” she said. “I like the Cayman Career Academy very much because CIDESCO is very well known and recognised internationally, so that everyone accepts this diploma.”
Dr. Shari Smith, of the Cayman Islands Scholarship Secretariat, was paying the school a visit. “Government supports CCA’s diploma and certificate programmes through our Scholarships for Caymanians programme. We will support as many as will apply, if the meet the criteria of the programme,” she said.
Lecturer Hannah Taylor said: “Today we are introducing potential students to Cayman Career Academy. Ideally, they are already interested in the beauty industry. By offering CIDESCO accredited courses, it means that we are offering the highest calibre qualifications available in the industry. We use a variety of teaching techniques, and our staff have more than sixty years’ experience in the beauty therapy industry between them.”