A targeted jobs drive is under way to match around 150 unemployed Caymanians with positions or training opportunities in the local tourism industry.
The tourism employment road-show began in East End on Tuesday with industry leaders meeting for face-to-face talks with jobseekers.
Ken Hydes, president of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, said the program was an aggressive and direct response to concerns over unemployment.
He said there were numerous opportunities in the tourism industry, with high-season approaching.
The Tourism Employment Drive will host six sessions throughout all districts in Grand Cayman.
The sessions are targeted directly at specific individuals who have registered with the National Workforce Development Agency and indicated an interest in working in the tourism industry.
Mr. Hydes said a lot of thought and planning had gone into coming up with the best method of matching jobseekers with opportunities.
“This is a direct response to a national issue. We are coming up to the busiest time of year in the tourism industry and we saw this as a real opportunity to do something tangible.
“Nobody should leave this program without some sort of positive take away.
“At the top end, that could be an appointment for a job interview. It could also be an opportunity to enroll in a training program or an idea of what steps they can take to be more marketable to employers.”
He said the tourism industry needed more locals to be involved in frontline jobs. But he warned the industry often required people to work long, sometimes unsociable hours and entry level salaries were comparatively low, though tips raised earning opportunities for hard workers.
Preparations for the jobs drive have been going on for weeks. CITA has produced a master list of opportunities of jobs, including positions that may be vacated by permit holders, that will soon be available.
A worker for the Tourism Employment Drive called everyone on the NWDA register to confirm their job seeking status and interest in the tourism sector.
“With a clean, verified list of more than 150 Caymanians seeking tourism jobs, the industry is setting off on an employment drive through all the districts of Grand Cayman to meet with every one of these individuals,” stated the initiative organizers in a press release.
“They will meet with three tourism and human resources professionals from diverse businesses who will ascertain relevant experience, as well as the applicants’ interests, talents and potential.
“After this conversation, applicants for whom there are suitable jobs available will be given a referral to an employer.
“Applicants who may need to develop skills necessary to be successful in a tourism position will be referred to industry resources on site and will also receive written recommendations so training can be arranged.”
Cayman Islands Department of Tourism PRIDE programme, the Ministry of Tourism’s tourism apprenticeship training programme, the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre and the University College of the Cayman Islands are all involved in the initiative.
The sessions are not open to the public. Caymanians seeking tourism employment who are not currently registered are urged to contact the NWDA at [email protected] or 945-3114.