Employability initiative launched

Deloitte Cayman has announced the commencement of the Deloitte Employability Initiative, a programme designed to enable high school students to develop appropriate skills, attitudes and behaviours to succeed in the work place.

The new educational programme was launched in September in partnership with the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre. The centre, located at the old John Gray campus, is a compulsory Year 12 programme that started in 2009. The programme offers a variety of classes including vocational options in areas such as art and design, business studies, childcare and development, creative media, hair and beauty, health and social care and hospitality.

As of September, the Deloitte Employability Initiative is a new mandatory subject for all students at the centre.

Stuart Sybersma, Deloitte Cayman’s managing partner, said: “Every year Deloitte supports numerous charitable events and nonprofit organisations as a means of giving back and supporting the local community. This year we decided to dedicate and concentrate much of the support in 2012-2013 to the area of education.”

“Deloitte Cayman will continue to offer annual Platinum and Gold scholarships to successful school leavers attending university, but we felt that all areas of education deserve and require additional support, especially at the grass roots level. All too often employers complain that potential young employees, whilst they may have the technical skills, lack the appropriate personal skills and attitudes to succeed in the work place. The Deloitte Employability Initiative is intended to address this gap.”

The Deloitte Employability Initiative was designed by Deloitte in the United Kingdom in 2001 in consultation with employers, training colleges and further education colleges. More than £2,000,000 has been spent developing the employability skills of college leavers through the Deloitte Foundation.

Robin Kyne, director of CIFEC, said he is optimistic that the Deloitte Employability Initiative will be hugely beneficial for all of our students and will start to have a wider positive impact on youth employment across the islands. “We are confident that we have a robust, internationally recognised qualification that can and will make a real difference to young people in Cayman and we are proud to partner with Deloitte in raising skills, aspirations, knowledge and experience.”

Students who successfully pass the course are accredited a unique Deloitte/Edexcel BTEC Level 2 Award in Employability Skills and then may also go on to obtain the Edexcel BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Employability Skills if further credits are obtained.

Deloitte Cayman business development manager Nadia Hardie, the local coordinator for the programme, said that “we are grateful to Deloitte UK and Pearson for allowing us to roll out this hugely successful employability programme internationally and we are excited to see the results that it will deliver for the young Caymanians”.

Some of the modules that students are learning include preparing for interviews, interview skills, effectiveness at work and working in a team. Additional optional units include managing your own money and developing personal skills for leadership. The course is interactive and learning takes place through role plays, and exercises based on practical workplace scenarios.

Francine Wright, a CIFEC student, who was selected to intern at Deloitte as part of the programme, said the course has provided her with the skill set and knowledge required to start her career on the right track.

The course is under way and Deloitte has provided funds in support as well as all the necessary teaching materials. CIFEC already had a fully accredited Deloitte Employability Train-the-Trainer teacher, Mark Slade, ready to deliver the course so things have been off to a flying start. Throughout the year, Deloitte volunteers will also assist in the classroom.

Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues thanked Deloitte on behalf of the Ministry of Education, the Department of Education Services and CIFEC for the “outstanding contribution and support to the students at CIFEC”.

“It is through such corporate sponsorship that CIFEC is able to offer more course options and ensure that our young people receive the skills they will need to work and live in our ever changing economy,” she said.

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