Job programs aim to get Cayman working

Public Works apprenticeships for CIFEC students under way

The Employment Ministry highlighted a number of new initiatives this week, including a partnership between the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre and the Public Works Department to offer an apprenticeship to students at the school.

“We are extremely excited about this and hope that other entities will come on board and run similar apprenticeships with us.”

An internship scheme has also been started for job-seekers signed up with the National Workforce Development Agency to help transition unemployed people of all ages back to work.

Delores Thompson, principal of CIFEC, said the partnership with the Public Works Department was a pilot program that could be expanded to involve other companies and professions.

The program involved eight students who spend two half-days a week studying English and math at CIFEC and the rest of their time working with the Public Works Department toward a City and Guilds vocational qualification in construction. They also spend time shadowing foremen on various government works sites to learn the hands-on skills of the job.

“We are extremely excited about this and hope that other entities will come on board and run similar apprenticeships with us,” said Ms. Thompson.

She said the aim was to provide qualifications and experience that created clear employment opportunities for CIFEC students.

The school, for Year 12 students, already has a large work experience component involving 86 employers, and runs vocational courses including auto repairs and beauty therapy.

But she said the apprenticeship took it to the next level, allowing students to spend much more time on job sites learning their trade.

The initiative was one of a number of technical and vocational training projects highlighted during a press briefing held by the Ministry of Employment Tuesday.

Dianne Conolly, manager of training and development at the National Workforce Development Agency, also highlighted the measures the agency was taking to provide work experience for people who were out of work.

She said it had partnered with businesses, including Health City and several restaurants and hotels, to help get on the job experience, training and relevant qualifications.

She highlighted a new wine school certification program and a water sports qualification as two initiatives that were helping get people certified and back to work.

Employment Minister Tara Rivers said vocational education was a priority, and had now been enshrined as a requirement in the new Education Law.

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  1. This is good news for Caymanians who need a guiding hand and an opportunity to improve their lives. The programme seems to be gaining some momentum and the NWDA, CIFEC and partnering employers need to be congratulated. Kudos too to the Government for listening to those who want to work and giving them a real opportunity.

    Well done to the successful applicants for grasping the opportunities. I hope you find many years of productive, satisfying employment.