New mentoring and training program planned
A 12-week career coaching and work experience program is being launched for high-achieving students interested in careers in the financial services industry.
The pilot program will involve some 65 professionals from the sector providing one-on-one mentoring sessions with students and hosting weekly workshops on the industry in schools.
Students will also complete a month-long summer work experience placement as part of the program, a joint initiative between government and Cayman Finance – the private sector lobby group for the financial services industry.
Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott said the organization is directly contributing $40,000 to the program, as well as an estimated $300,000 in time-value commitment from high-earning employees in the sector. The Ministries of Education and Financial Services are each contributing $15,000.
The program will support up to 50 talented Year 12 students, either in the first year of their A-Levels or associate’s degree. It will involve seven weekly one-hour workshops in participating schools from leaders in the industry, six one-hour mentoring sessions for each student, and a four-week work placement, with students receiving a stipend of $1,000.
Education Minister Tara Rivers said the program would give young people an idea of what it takes to succeed in the financial services industry and what they would need to do to get there.
“The aim is to help our young people get a foot in the door and gain real experience and skills required to compete successfully in the world of financial services.”
She said it would also help students define what further studies they would need to get into the industry.
Mr. Scott said the program is a simple initiative that can be effectively implemented.
He said investing in training young people is a “requirement for Cayman to remain one of the world’s leading international financial centers.”
He said, “These work placements will open doors and encourage students to make the right choices to kick-start their careers.”
All the mentors involved in the program will receive training through the Big Brother/Big Sister charity. Mr. Scott said it is important that the mentors and workshop facilitators are able to communicate and engage with young people in a relevant and interesting way.
Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton said the program would help improve access to opportunity for young Caymanians.
“While a number of firms have long supported educational experiences for our students, Cayman Finance’s initiative is the first to harness the collective strength of our financial service industry.”
The pilot scheme will begin this month and run for 12 weeks. Ms. Rivers said the intention is to continue the program in future years.