Cosmetology student Akeila Chapman is set to be Barbados’ first representative at the upcoming World Skills Americas competition which takes place in Sao Paulo, Brazil this November.
Chapman was the Barbados Vocational Training Board’s silver medallist in the hairdressing category of the WorldSkills Barbados Competition coordinated by the TVET Council in March of this year.
Now in the second year of the BVTB’s three-year Cosmetology Apprenticeship programme, she also copped the second highest marks for the overall competition. Her BVTB teammate Clesita Moore was the gold medal winner but is unable to compete in the Brazil round because she is outside the age-range allowed in the competition. Chapman will be accompanied by her coach/demonstrator, Wendy Bishop.
The WorldSkills Barbados and WorldSkills Americas competitions are based on the WorldSkills International Competition — a global “skills Olympics” — which is held in one of 55 member countries every two years to provide young people ages 16 – 22 enrolled in training institutions the opportunity to compete and demonstrate their excellence in skilled professions.
BVTB’s Director of Training, Henderson Thompson, was elated at Chapman’s selection, noting: “This is definitely a milestone achievement for the BVTB. Since emerging winners of the WorldSkills Barbados Competition, we have redoubled our efforts at ensuring that students receive the highest level of trades’ instruction, preparing them for the world of work and entrepreneurship.
“Ms. Chapman and all the BVTB competitors in the March competition showed a high level of commitment to excellence; this was also displayed by their coaches, who toiled to ensure that all aspects of performance were up to mark for the competition.”
He added: “We will now take this high level of commitment forward with Ms. Chapman to the Brazil competition and work has already begun to prepare her. Akeila has the full support of the BVTB and its Board of Directors behind her and we will do everything in our power to ensure that she is fully competition ready.”
Executive Director of the TVET Council, Henderson Eastmond, echoed Thompson’s sentiments.
He said: “The TVET Council is elated that one of the winners of the WorldSkills Barbados Competition will be representing Barbados at the WorldSkills Americas. This is the first step in having our students compete on the world stage. We wish that in the very near future we can have more students compete in a wide variety of areas at the WorldSkills International competition.”
He added: “When we reach this stage, we will know that we will be near to achieving the level of having a world class workforce. Achieving a world class workforce is the goal, mandate and commitment of the TVET Council. The TVET Council is working assiduously to ensure that her participation in this important event is facilitated.”
As part of her preparation for the WorldSkills Americas, Chapman will continue her professional training at the 101 Style Hair and Scalp Clinic under the tutelage of stylist Arlette Knight-Olton, who also helped to prepare WorldSkills Barbados’ overall winner Clesita Moore for competition.
She will also be exposed to techniques in cutting, colouring, styling and hair care from some of the island’s most talented stylists. In addition, Chapman will pit her talents against some of these stylists and other students by participating in interim “tests” done under competition rules and conditions over the next four months of preparation.