Girls take on construction

John Gray High School and UCCI recently held their graduation ceremonies for 2008. At both ceremonies, the Cayman Contractors Association presented awards for the top students enrolled in technical courses.

It may interest the public to know that two out of the three top graduates for technical studies were women. In addition, a high percentage of the other technical graduates were women.

Readers will likely assume that the women who graduated from both institutions are seeking careers in office work with construction companies; however, this is not the case. Each of the graduates, whether male or female, studied the same technical programme and has attained skills in hands-on construction work.

This suggests a change in which the construction industry is perceived by our young people.

In recent years, Mr. Hugh Chin Sinn of John Gray has done wonders in inspiring both male and female students in the technical field.

In addition, a five-person committee from the CCA has been working with Mr. Ray Jones of UCCI to provide a programme that is both challenging to students and in keeping with the skills needed in the construction marketplace. For the first time, the leaders in the construction industry and the schools are working closely, hand-in-hand to assure that those who have an interest in construction will have a promising future.

Following the UCCI graduation, Mr. Jones and CCA President Steve Hawley met to begin a new effort. UCCI will provide profiles of every graduate student, while the CCA will distribute the profiles amongst its membership. The objective will be to create an awareness amongst employers of the abilities of each graduate, to ensure that their full capabilities are understood.

In Cayman, it is not uncommon for graduates to ‘undersell’ themselves to prospective employers, which can lead to graduates failing to secure employment. Through this programme of pre-exposure of graduates to CCA members, the CCA and UCCI seek to assure that every graduate is placed in a position with a local contractor.

The CCA wishes to express its praise and admiration for Mr. Chinn Sinn of John Gray and Mr. Jones of UCCI and their staffs, for their extraordinary contribution to the construction industry and the future of our young people.

We also wish to express our congratulations to the recent graduates of both institutions for their achievement. We particularly wish to note the many women who have graduated. They are pioneers in the construction industry of the future.

Cayman Contractors Association

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