Lifelong training on the island after the certificate of professional competence (CAP)


Open since September 2014, the Pedagogical beauty institute which is located on the rue de la Liberté works like any other beauty salon. Except that this is a subsidized employment company in which the employees are managed by a professional and where they continue their training in order to get a higher diploma. Holders of CAP hairdressing/stylist offered in Saint Martin since 2009 and funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), the four employees (two beauticians, two hairdressers) prepare for nearly two years their professional certificate (Brevet professionnel) which will allow them to set up their own business. Their time schedule is organized so that they can complete ten hours of classes a week.

Aline Freedom created the Institute to allow holders of a the CAP to work on a work-study basis while continuing to develop, because the CAP level is not sufficient to find a job on the French side. "There are more sought out on the Dutch side," says the Manager, who also heads the INFORMIP training center, the center conducting the professional certificate training. 'After the first promotion of CAP, who graduated in 2011, we found those who had left for the mainland had good job opportunities' she recalls. According to her, a CAP level is insufficient to be self-employed, whether for hairdressing and aesthetics, even if the law allows to do so. To progress, it is necessary to keep on training. The professional certificate prepares the students for 2 years on a work-study basis. Here, managers of institutes work generally on their own and do not necessarily have the resources nor the space to recruit new employees. The educational institute aims to close this loophole and allow young graduates who have the will to do it, to acquire new skills.

 During this first session, which is to end on August, four young women have thus benefited from an integration contract and earned a salary (SMIC), while training for a degree that they will be awarded in less than a month. They will be replaced by four of their counterparts who will also get trained during two years. These recruits are often new to the business world and hey will have to keep on developing their skills, including customer relationship. Cynthia Dormoy, a hairdresser, and manager of the salon helps them for this purpose. She is the first Saint-Martiner who was awarded the CAP and then a hairstyle professional certificate under a work-study contract. "It was difficult at the time because it had to go to Guadeloupe every two weeks for the course”, she recalls.   If his work isn't always easy, she does not regret having accepted the challenge: "Here, I feel that I can help young people to have what I could not have.

For the time being, "the profitability of the company is not yet assured, as for any strat up company" says Aline Freedom. Mostly, lack of customers : "Students need to publicize and demonstrate their value, reassure customers about the quality of their services. As we put the word "educational", people take it as going to school. We put forward the fact that our employees are trained and that they keep on training.". She wants to be the "outfitter of staff" of other companies of the island. While acknowledging that this project cannot go on forever without reaching saturation. "Our goal is not to train unemployed" she quips with lucidity. In a few years, the structure must therefore evolve. We could become a traditional company, or switch to another type of activity affected by a lack of skilled people.



Fanny Fontan