Long time DoT staff member Alma McKenzie, known to almost everyone as ‘Miss Alma’, recently returned from a study visit in Seville, Spain, after qualifying for a study grant from the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.
The study visit, Promoting an entrepreneurial spirit among young people: Lifelong Guidance and Counselling, allowed Miss Alma to hone her skills as DoT’s Senior Tourism Training & Development Officer responsible for Tourism Community Awareness and Apprenticeship Training Programmes, said a press release from DoT.
The study visit was part of the CEDEFOP’s Community programme for those responsible for vocational training. The CEDEFOP oversees the general running and promotion of the programme on behalf of the European Commission.
Representing the United Kingdom and Cayman Islands, Miss Alma travelled to Spain to join people from other European countries, including Germany, Sweden, Malta, Poland, Ireland, Slovenia, Greece, Italy, Scotland and the Netherlands.
‘I was delighted and felt very privileged to have been chosen by the British Council as one of 15 professionals to participate in the CEDEFOP programme,’ said Miss Alma. ‘The study visit was a fantastic career opportunity for me. Whenever I see an opportunity to participate in training that will give me competence on the job, I’ll go after it. I believe that one is never too old to learn and I have a lot of years ahead of me to share my knowledge with my community … and with the help of God I plan to do just that.’
‘Fostering entrepreneurship amongst our youth is essential if we are to increase the number of qualified Caymanians working in the tourism industry,’ commented Minister of Tourism Charles Clifford. ‘The fact that Miss Alma was one of the successful applicants for this competitive specialist course is testament to her hard work and contributions to the Cayman Islands tourism industry throughout the years. On behalf of the Government, I thank her most sincerely for her dedicated service and continued pursuit of excellence.’
Miss Alma continued, ‘My overall objective was to learn as much as I could about best practices in entrepreneurship and apprenticeship training and to be able to disseminate the techniques learnt. With this new knowledge I expect to touch the lives of many people within the Cayman Islands.’
The study visit, which took place in Seville, Spain, from November 13 – 17, matched group members as closely as possible to ensure that they had a shared interest in the subject of the visit as well as a working language in common. At the same time, however, the variety of nationalities and professional backgrounds enhanced the value of the visit to participants.