When Allan Moore was working to open Community Vocational Training in central George Town last summer, no one who knew him doubted his ability to attract instructors, organise resources and personally do whatever it took; from shovelling sand to installing electrical boxes.
There may have been doubters about the perseverance of the students Mr. Moore wanted to attract. Five months later they got their first answer when 20 young people completed course work as electrical apprentices, eight graduated from an air conditioning course and 13 received certificates in customer service.
That success has attracted more students: 22 are enrolled in the electrical programme and 10 others in a plumbing course. An adult literacy class has attracted 11 students, reported Lorna Bush, administrator and public relations officer.
The centre has already surmounted one major hurdle; the loss of its first headquarters. Classes have moved temporarily to the Public Works Department Training and Resource Centre while work continues at a more permanent site in Rock Hole, near George Town Primary School and the football field.
Interested students can contact Mr. Moore at 926-9117 or Ms Bush at 939-7513.
Looking ahead, there has been negotiation with the Human Employment and Resource Training Trust in Jamaica to be recognised as a HEART assessment centre and to offer HEART-certified programmes, Ms Bush said.
Preliminary discussions have been held with successful veterans in construction-related industries who are interested in setting up programmes in East End and West Bay.
Smaller but further ahead in its development is the auto technicians’ training programme initiated by Denise and Mark DeMercado at Superior Auto. Started in 2011, their training is accredited by the Jamaican German Automotive School.
This programme is open to Caymanians aged 17-22 and combines classroom work with hands-on experience. Participants who earn certification are in high demand.
Government’s Strategic Plan for Education 2012-2017 identified as one of its drivers, “Ensure individuals leaving our education and training programmes have the relevant attitudes, skills and experience to be able to compete for current and future job opportunities.”
Towards that goal, the Education Department has introduced new internationally accredited Technical, Vocational, Education and Training programmes and qualifications in the high schools and the further education centre.
The TVET programme provides students with recognised qualifications in such fields as Creative Media Production; Motor Vehicle Repair; Business; Information Technology; Children’s Care, Learning, Development; Travel and Tourism; Hairdressing; Horticulture; Health and Social Care.
The University College of the Cayman Islands offers certificate programmes in the areas of accounting, computer technician, electrical technology, construction technology and hospitality studies. The fee is $165 per subject per semester. Students who do not have the requisite exam passes maybe asked to take a placement exam.