Samantha Davidson (from left), Faith Jackson, Brenna Joseph, Elizabeth Burton and Instructor Chelsey Grey are among the participants in the highly successful hairstylist program offered at Armstrong’s Pleasant Valley Secondary School. Burton (gold) and Jackson (bronze) won medals at this year’s Skills Canada competition. (PVSS photo)

School accepting potential hairstylists

Armstrong’s Pleasant Valley Secondary produces top-notch students for the industry

The Mia Bella School of Hair Design, Class of 2017, which is based at Armstrong’s Pleasant Valley Secondary School, has received the top marks in the province.

Ninety per cent of the students successfully completed the Level 1 Certificate of Completion leading towards a Red Seal Certificate of Qualifications, which is the Canadian National Standards exam for the hairstylist industry.

This is not a small feat as students must score at least 70 per cent to pass this national exam.

PVSS is currently recruiting for the February 2019 class, which consists of students from throughout the North Okanagan. Students currently in Grades 10,11 and 12 are eligible to enroll in the program.

“This is our 11th class and usually has students from Vernon, Salmon Arm, Enderby, Lumby and Sicamous,” said Paul Britton, career programs coordinator at PVSS. “We rely mostly on the Vernon School District for at least half our students, as they do not offer such a unique program. The benefit to Vernon students is that there is public transit buses that come directly to our school from Vernon.”

Britton said one of the major benefits of completing this program while in high school is the “free tuition.” Typical costs for anyone wanting to become a hairstylist may range from $8,000 to $15,000.

Not only are students writing and completing the Industry of Training, Level 1 Hairstylist Certificate of Completion, many are securing placements as apprentices to complete the required 3,600 hours to become a licensed hairdresser in Canada.

“This dual credit Youth In Trades program not only gives students high school credits but also industry approved credentials that we help make them employable,” said Britton. “Students who have completed the program and secured apprenticeships while still in high school are eligible for a Youth In Training award of $1,000.

“The success of this program has to be shared with all the local salons in Armstrong, Enderby, Salmon Arm and Vernon, who have taken our students on practicums and eventually hired many of them after graduation.”

Any North Okanagan students interested in the enrolling in the 2019 hairstylist program should contact their High School career counsellor or call Britton at PVSS, 250-546-3114 ext 206. Applications are currently on the district career website:

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