Caymanians join tourism industry

Young Caymanians have entered the
tourism industry after graduating from a year-long apprenticeship programme.

The Ministry of Tourism’s
Apprenticeship Training Programme was run in conjunction with the Cayman
Islands Tourism Association, and consists of core competencies taught at the
International College of the Cayman Islands and the University College of the
Cayman Islands, plus an apprenticeship at a business affiliated with the
tourism association.

Students also receive the Caribcert
qualification which covers knowledge and skills development culminating in
professional recognition for tourism workers in 50 occupations.

Professional options

During the apprenticeship, students
studied a range of professional options including those of front desk, night
auditor, concierge, guest services, preparation and cook and reservations
agent. Spa attendants were certified this year in conjunction with the
International College of the Cayman Islands, which ran the American Hotel and
Lodging Association’s certification scheme.

The Cayman Islands Tourism
Association said that the programme was launched in 2007 for a specific
purpose.

“This initiative began three years
ago with the recognition that we need to generate a greater supply of highly
qualified Caymanian workers who will raise the level of professional competency
within the tourism workforce. Caymanian employees bring a distinct cultural
flavour to local tourism products and services, and give much needed stability
to the industry,” said the association.

The ceremony was held at Westin
Casuarina on Saturday, 28 August.

Premier experiences

Jordy Rankine received the W.
Norman Bodden Award and Culinary Award for the highest grades in culinary
studies. Jordy was recently hired by the Grand Cayman Marriott Resort.

Other speakers included McKeeva
Bush, who talked about his own experiences as a youngster working as a bellboy
at his aunt and uncle’s hotel. Dan Szydlowski of the Tourism Apprentice
Training Advisory Council passed on words of wisdom including a quote from Walt
Disney, which stated all dreams can come true if one has the courage to pursue
them.

This year, there were 18 graduates.
Front Office Operations: Abigail McLaughlin, Briana Jackson, Genesis Christian,
Miklala Manderson, Iva Ebanks, Kelsey Rae-Smith, Merlyn Brown, Genova Christian
and Latecia Jarrett. Food Preparation: Latoya McLean, Atarah thompson, Jordy
Rankine, Megan Parsons. Food & Beverage Operations: Margeorgia Williams.
Spa Attendant: Tashona Bent, Charlette Bodden and Sandrine Jackson. Welcome –
Spa Attendant: Tasheda Minzett.

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