Cayman Finance celebrates student education, work program

Ali Solomon, Tishauna Taylor, Torrean Shields and Isabella Hall, students in the program, accept their certificates.

The second year of the Cayman Finance Student Education and Work Experience Programme has concluded after nine weeks of workshops and mentor sessions and a four-week work placement component.

The program was developed in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs and the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment with the goal of educating young Caymanians on the importance of the financial services industry, as well as creating pathways for those who are interested in pursuing careers in the industry, according to a press release from Cayman Finance.

In its pilot year, the program was available exclusively for Year 12 students in the government dual-enrollment program in Grand Cayman. Due to its success, this year the program was expanded to include Caymanian students in private schools, as well as students from Cayman Brac, Cayman Finance said.

From left, Bryan Hunter, chair of Cayman Finance Public Awareness Committee, Christen Suckoo, chief officer for the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs, Tara Rivers, minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs and Dax Basdeo, chief officer for the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment.
From left, Bryan Hunter, chair of Cayman Finance Public Awareness Committee, Christen Suckoo, chief officer for the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs, Tara Rivers, minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs and Dax Basdeo, chief officer for the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment.

In total, 68 students completed the workshop and mentor components, with 64 students accepting work experience placements at 29 organizations. A total of 74 mentors from 19 organizations and 32 individual organizations participated.

At a recent celebration event, Bryan Hunter, chairman of the Cayman Finance Public Awareness Committee, highlighted the growth of the program.

“Last year’s program was a tremendous success with 50 students taking part, but this year those numbers were increased across the board,” he said. “The support from Cayman Finance member firms, as well as other organizations across the island, has allowed the program to grow significantly.”

Participating schools were Grace Christian Academy, Wesleyan Christian Academy, Cayman Prep, St. Ignatius Catholic School, Cayman International School, Layman E. Scott Sr. High School, Triple C School and University College of the Cayman Islands.

The workshop and mentorship elements of the program were designed to increase education about what the financial services industry is and why it is a crucial element of the Cayman Islands community. Students learned about the various sectors of the financial industry and professions and employment opportunities within the industry, and interacted one-on-one with industry professionals, including senior managers and partners. The program also included training in interview skills and workplace etiquette.

Tara Rivers, minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs, said, “This program is an exciting and important way to connect young Caymanians with senior professionals in order to build relationships and provide crucial experience that will allow students to decide whether the financial services industry is for them, and give them the confidence to pursue that career if that is the case.”

Wayne Panton, minister for Financial Services, said the program is an essential part of Cayman’s efforts to support and educate the community on the importance of the financial services industry.

“Financial services has been the largest employer of Caymanians for years, and this program seeks to increase awareness among young people today about the possibilities available to them in our financial services industry.”

Mr. Hunter said he was thankful for all the support the program had received in order to make it possible for a second year.

Jude Scott, CEO of Cayman Finance, highlighted the efforts of the Cayman Finance committee, which led the program for a second year.

“Cayman Finance is committed to helping the community better understand the important role that our industry plays in the local and global economies, as well as creating pathways for bright young Caymanians into the industry,” he said. “This program is an important part of that initiative and I cannot wait to see its continued success in years to come.”

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