Ten students have been offered work study positions at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman following a successful job fair.
More than 250 students attended the event, which was held in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre.
Valerie Hoppe of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman said the programme was for Year 12 students of the Cayman Islands. The work experience component is attractive to students, she said.
“It is three days a week at school and two days’ work experience for the full school year. People are seeing the value in that experience. The scheme reached out to employers and did an employer forum,” Ms Hoppe said. “We made the suggestion that it would be great to meet more students and get a feel of who they are, what they are interested in and so that they could learn about all the different lines of business they could go into, that maybe they were not aware of.”
On that basis, a career fair was held on 6-7 September and around 150 of those met with the Ritz-Carlton.
“Of those, we felt around 20 were of Ritz-Carlton material, then the careers adviser asked them if they liked us – a bit like speed dating – and we ended up taking 10 students in various areas of the hotel,” she said.
Margaret Jackson of the Further Education Centre added that the two days’ work experience, three days’ study had been welcomed by employers and students.
“The students get a true feel for being part of a company for the full school year. At the Ritz-Carlton, the students are placed in their first area of interest as far as possible, but are also given the opportunity to experience a variety of departments should they choose,” Ms Jackson said. “The students this year will attend a two-day orientation with the ladies and gentlemen of the Ritz-Carlton to prepare them for their placement.
“This year we also hope to continue our workplace visits to the [hotel] for hospitality and travel and tourism students. Another very successful collaboration last year was the etiquette class that the Ritz-Carlton hosted for our young people.”
The success of the job fair and the subsequent programme shows that Cayman’s younger generation is becoming more interested in learning about the hospitality industry, Ms Hoppe said.
“We have partnered with CIFEC since it started and it is growing all the time,” she added.
Students are studying as follows: Janel Ebanks, Aaliyah Gardner, Juan Mellaneo – culinary; Arianna Wheeler – meetings, events and destination services; Romario Nathan – engineering and landscaping; Hyacinth Whittaker – finance; Justin Wright – ICT; Fallon Ebanks – sales and marketing; Lashawn Solomon – front office and reservations; Leonce Brown – audio visual.
Cayman’s younger generation is becoming more interested in learning about the hospitality industry.