Students in the Bartley Skills Development Program in Beyond Barbering cutting hair


Building skills, confidence and community through barbering

Feb 8, 2024
As a shy teenager looking for purpose in his life, Perrier knew he wanted to get into barbering but had no idea where to get started. Entering the
Bartley Skills Development Program
in Beyond Barbering, Perrier found the right stepping stones and support to gain the skills and confidence needed to launch his career, and eventually to open his own barbershop.
“The Bartley Skills Development Program taught me discipline, how to communicate with people effectively and how to think about networking and marketing myself,” says Perrier. “Chadwin [co-founder of the organization] showed me how to take pride in what I do. Because, at the end of the day, how you conduct yourself is how others will perceive you. 

Guided by lived experience

Seeing youth in their community struggle to find meaningful employment and discover career paths they’re passionate about, Chadwin and Camille Bartley co-founded the Bartley Skills Development Program, a registered charity, in 2018. Operating out of Brampton and serving youth across the Greater Toronto Area, the program introduces youth to skilled trades in a friendly, supportive environment that promotes mentorship and helps participants develop new skills as well as their entrepreneurial spirit.
“My lived experience is the most important aspect of everything I believe in and have accomplished, including developing the foundation for the Bartley Skills Development Program,” said Chadwin. “From immigrating to Canada as a child to being kicked out of my house as a teenager and living on the street for a period of time, I'm now able to relate to youth going through hard times, which motivates me to give back to my community.”

Beyond barbering

Skilled trades like barbering provide youth with an opportunity to learn practical skills such as time management, effective communication and customer service which can be applied to many aspects of life. With a grant from the TELUS Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Community Board, the organization was able to expand their 10-week Beyond Barbering program to support 60 additional youth, like Perrier.
Perrier, former student in the Bartley Skills Development Program in Beyond Barbering sitting in a barber chair at the barber shop he owns.
A few years after completing the Beyond Barbering program, Perrier opened
Hairlines Barber Shop
. He credits the skills he learned, drive he gained, and the mentorship he continues to receive from Chadwin and those from the Bartley Skills Development Program community to helping him be in the position he is today.
“The skills and confidence I developed through the program, working at other barber shops as well as continuing to volunteer and mentor others by staying connected with Bartley Skills, put me in a position where I was ready to start my own business,” said Perrier. “I continue to put myself out there by networking at events and creating social media content to grow my business, which has seen my
Tik Tok page
grow to over 30,000 followers.”

What does the future hold for the Bartley Skills Development Program? 

A group photo of students in the Bartley Skills Development Program
The organization is working on developing an online platform where youth are matched with professional barbers or hair stylists as mentors. It will serve as a safe space for youth to connect in real-time with professionals in the field across the country to ask questions, get advice and receive live barbering or hairstyling demos. Giving youth in the program direct access to professionals in the field, will help grow an engaged community of aspiring entrepreneurs looking to establish themselves in the skilled trades. 
By funding organizations like the Bartley Skills Development Program, TELUS Friendly Future Foundation supporters are helping youth believe in themselves — and in their dreams.