The world is ever changing and with the focus on technology we must remember that in an environment filled with emails, podcasts, social networking and automated responses, we are all still human and value a connection to others as we look for good service and business interaction.
Yes, we all want things done quickly and technology has provided many short cuts for us in our day-to-day living, but there is no substitute for the right person who can answer your queries, help you find what you’re looking for, or listen to your concerns about a product or service. In short, good business practice requires good personnel or talent.
Talent is key to any innovation based economy. The presence of a large pool of highly skilled workers is a powerful lure for businesses and can be directly linked to higher incomes.
The Chamber of Commerce has always placed a level of high importance on education, training and career advancement for our community, youth and Chamber members. It just makes sense. Business development is all about having the right people with the right training who can grow with the company bringing knowledge and experience to their industries. We must nurture our employees and recognise each potential as a valuable tool and resource within our respective working environments. Educate, train, employ, and keep training.
One of the ways that the Chamber seeks to bring employers and potential recruits together is through our Careers, Education, Training & Jobs Expo which is going into its 16th year. This two-day event coming up on 19-20 March invites employers from the community to come along and promote their training & education programmes as well as any job or career vacancies they may have available. Last year there were over 35 local businesses and organisations represented and this year it is likely there will be more.
The methods for finding suitable employees are shifting and these days job fairs and career expos are becoming a more popular choice for companies wishing to hire entry level positions or do initial screenings for more experienced positions. For recruiters these events are a way to reach interviewing velocity. It gives them the chance to meet up with the highest numbers of candidates in the shortest amount of time. And for those looking for employment or career advancement you get to see first-hand how potential employers present themselves and their company, and instead of the weeks of appointment making and interviews you can quickly connect with the industries and businesses to which you are most attracted.
We all understand how a nice office and prestigious name can attract the more highly desirable candidates but did you know that in a recent study conducted by Spherion Atlantic Enterprises LLC., a staffing and employment-services firm based in the US, they found that 61 per cent of respondents said after receiving training they were more likely to stay with their employer for the next five to 10 years. Employees recognise that by being given training and continuing education opportunities it makes them a much more marketable candidate for promotions and career development. It is a valuable part of any employment package.
We are no different here in the Cayman Islands and through our Careers, Education, Training & Jobs Expo and other Chamber initiated programmes such as Career Awareness Visits, Mentoring Cayman and Leadership Cayman www.leadershipcayman.ky we hope to be the catalyst to a more educated and competitive employment market. Another very important tool for students and school leavers is the Financial Assistance, Scholarship, Education and Training Guide. This has been developed by the Chamber to give a full and comprehensive guide to all educational, training and scholarship opportunities available for young people in the Cayman Islands. It is also packed full of useful information on preparing yourself for the workforce, how to approach perspective employers and valuable interviewing techniques. This is planned to release early this year and will be available online and through the Chamber of Commerce office.
For those who wish to attend the Careers, Education, Training & Jobs Expo, it is being held at The Family Life Centre on Friday, March 19 (for students only) and Saturday, 20 March, for the public, both days from 10am- 4pm. Information on this and our other Chamber initiatives can be located at www.caymanchamber.ky