Twenty-two pupils entering the
Ministry of Tourism new Apprentice Training Programme at the University College
of the Cayman Islands in September were encouraged by Premier McKeeva Bush recently
to learn as much from the programme as possible, saying it has a lot to offer
them as a career.
The new pupils were attending the
orientation session at the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa on Friday when the
Premier, who has responsibility for tourism on the Islands, shared with the
group how vital the tourism industry is to the Cayman Islands economy.
“Getting the skills can take you
many places in the tourism industry,” he said, as he shared with attendees his climb
to success and involvement in the industry. He said he started in his career in
tourism by washing dishes until he was able to move up the ladder with other
skills, and that the tourism industry had taught him a lot.
“You can meet a lot of people in
the tourism industry and also learn many careers in the field. Don’t just stop
at the training, get out there and get that job,” he said.
The Premier also shared with the
group how ‘back-in-the-day’ parents did not encourage children to get into the
tourism field, thinking it was too demeaning or not a successful career.
“It is a fantastic industry from which you
could learn tremendous life skills and a good place for young people to have a
career,” he said.
The Premier said one problem
Caymanians had was thinking they had the right to a job. He reminded the
students that they have to train and get the experience to get that job. He
further told the new apprentices not to let peer pressure, partner, or pregnancies
stop them from achieving success in life.
He encouraged the young women to
look to people in the community like Alma McKenzie, senior tourism training
development officer, as a role model who started her career in the tourism industry
but did not stop there.
“Be prepared to apply yourself to
the opportunity given to you. We are still a blessed generation, even though
these are hard times. Be trained and I encourage you to take the opportunity
that is being offered,” he said.
So far 52 people have completed the
programme since it was launched in 2006 by the Department of Tourism.
The programme is a certification in
hospitality studies designed by Caribcert with three core areas offered; food
and beverage, food preparations and front office.
Caribcert certification is given to
those individuals who know their job and have demonstrated their ability to do
The process is this:
The programme is one year and
entails a foundation course, core competence course, and on-the-job training.
Pupils are also offered pride training which focuses on service in all areas of
the tourism industry, including first aid and food hygiene.
The programme provides pupils’
tuition, uniform, training tools, monthly stipends, text books, computer access
Cabribcert manuals and payments.
The programme is being offered to
young Caymanians to generate greater support of highly qualified residents and
raise the level of professional competency workers in the tourism force. The
objective is to provide technical skills and work experience necessary to
succeed in Cayman’s economically important tourism industry.