By Christopher Tobutt
Cayman’s first beauty school, Cayman Career Academy recently held an open-day for prospective students to come and meet with the lecturers, and see just what the Academy can offer them to help them go to the very top of their chosen profession. The Academy opened its doors two years ago, offering a range of CIDESCO – accredited courses in all aspects of the professional beauty and spa industry. That’s good news for Cayman, because there are many spas and beauty therapy salons here but until the Academy came to Smith Road Plaza, there were very limited on-island training opportunities.
Lead lecturer at Cayman Career Academy, Wendy Lynch explained: “Today we have an open house. This is the time of year we want to introduce the community to come in and see what our school is all about. We are also trying to build a brand awareness for the school because it’s a relatively new school and a lot of people don’t know it exists so we are having this open day to showcase the school and what it’s all about.”
CIDESCO is widely regarded as the top professional world-standard for beauty therapists. When the school’s founder and Principal, Jacqui Tomlinson Smith, who owns Wow spar and Beyond Basics Medical Spa decided to open Cayman Career Academy, she only wanted the highest standards for Cayman, and so set about establishing fully-accredited CIDESCO courses that are a passport to working in top spas and beauty salons anywhere in the world. Since it began, Cayman Career Academy has gradually added more courses, and students can presently choose from: Beauty Therapy Diploma; Post-Graduate Beauty Therapy Diploma; Spa Management Diploma; Electrical Epilation Diploma; Certificate in Aesthetics; Certificate in Body Therapy; Certificate in Skin Care, and a Manual Facial Certificate. Students can also build their qualifications modularly, for example they can do the certificate in Body Therapy and the Certificate in Aesthetics, and the two of those together equals the Diploma.
Ms Tomlinson-Smith expressed disappointment that government financial support has not been consistent since she began the school. “The first year the government supported us. They asked me to do the school, and they gave some scholarships,” she said. But after the first year, Ms. Tomlinson-Smith said, no more students received scholarships. However there is some hope on the horizon: “Now that we are accredited I am told that the students can apply to the Scholarship Secretariat; so we are hoping that will happen,” she said.
As much as possible is being done to accommodate students who already have full-time jobs. Instead of taking the diploma course full-time in one year, they can choose to take it part-time over two years, coming into the school after work or at the weekends. There is also a fast-track Postgraduate Diploma, which can be taken part time too, and entails much fewer hours both of practical and of theory. This is for students who already have several years’ experience in the industry.
The fees range from 16,000 dollars one year full time for Diploma courses (or if they are coming part-time, the Diploma courses will take about two years) and 6,000 for Certificate courses.
Sylvia Marita comes from Kenya and is paying for her studies to complete the Diploma in Beauty Therapy. “My background is in Hospitality,” she said. “So this is brand new for me. Study is Part-time for me because I have to work and come to school.” Her dream, she said, was to open her own spa or beauty salon.
Caymanian student Kenniza Anderson studied away from Cayman before coming back and is glad of the opportunity that Cayman Career Academy givers her: “I am currently doing the full CIDESCO diploma which entails facials, massages, manicures and pedicures and waxing. I have lovely lecturers and teachers that ensure that I go very far,” she said.
Ex-student Shantel Williams used the open day to come back, and meet with the lecturers who had helped her on her way: “I did the Postgraduate Diploma. it helped me a lot and because of it I have started my own business, called ‘Corporate Image,’ in Bodden Town,” she said.
27 Jan, 2020
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15 Sep, 2021