VIU Hairdressing and Esthetics Join Trinidad and Tobago in Training Partnership

Natalie Clarke (l) and Yola Hernandez observe as Hairdressing student Allison Brayley practices her skills while cutting a client’s hair at the VIU Hairdressing Salon.

March 30, 2015 - 11:15am

Sharing best practices and methods of teaching for training future hairdressers and esthetics practitioners has been a great experience for instructors from Vancouver Island University (VIU) and their colleagues in a three-year partnership with the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago.

Two representatives from YTEPP Limited (Youth Training and Employment Partnership Program), the partner organization in Trinidad and Tobago, spent two weeks in March with VIU’s Hairdressing program at the Nanaimo campus and the Esthetics program at VIU’s Parksville Centre.

 “We’re here to understand the methodologies, the way VIU runs the salon and training labs, and to look at the ways students interact with clients while they are still training,” said Yola Hernandez, who was joined by her colleague Natalie Clarke. Both women are technical supervisors, working to train instructors in YTEPP Limited’s cosmetology programs.

Hernandez said YTEPP Limited has partnered with VIU as a learning exchange, and also to collaborate on the best teaching methods and spaces for a new Centre of Excellence in Cosmetology in Trinidad and Tobago.

Sally Vinden, Chair of VIU’s Hairdressing program, joined her colleague Lesley Osborne, Chair of the Esthetics program, in welcoming the delegation, sharing their ‘competency-based’ learning methods, and involving their guests in the day-to-day classes, clinics, and delivery of hairdressing and esthetics services to the public.

“On a professional level, and on a personal level as well, it’s an incredible opportunity to have such fantastic partners to work with,” said Vinden. “It doesn’t happen every day that you have the chance to work cross-culturally.”

Osborne said it has been very exciting to collaborate with the YTEPP partners, and to share a passion for the highest quality training in the beauty industry.

Osborne travelled to Trinidad and Tobago to tour education facilities and meet partners with Vinden and Meg Savory from the Faculty of International Education in May 2014, and was pleased to deepen the relationship with the recent visit.

The visit came at a busy time in the Parksville Centre’s VIU Spa Institute, with many clients on site enjoying a variety of esthetic services as students completed the last month of their training.

“We’ve learned many different things from each other,” Osborne said. “It always amazes me how people can do things differently and come out with the same great result.”

Clarke and Hernandez are the second delegation to visit VIU in the training partnership, which is supported by Colleges and Institutes Canada’s Carribean Education for Employment program.



Shari Bishop Bowes, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P:250.740.6443  C: 250.618.1535 E: T: @viunews

Tags: Teaching and Learning

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