More than 500 students attended a career fair last month to learn about jobs ranging from handling drug-sniffing dogs to working in a medical lab and operating drones.

The Careers Fair, hosted by Cayman Academy at the University College of the Cayman Islands, drew students from Cayman’s public and private schools. Thirty-five employers and government departments had exhibits and talked with students about career possibilities, according to a press release.

Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott, who had an exhibit at the career fair, said in the release, “In order to protect, promote, develop and grow our financial services industry, we have to foster interest in the student population in Cayman, while showing them the available pathways into the wide range of career options within the industry.”

About 265 students from John Gray and Clifton Hunter visited the fair. Another 150 students from Cayman Academy attended, along with students from Grace Christian Academy, Wesleyan Holiness and UCCI, according to the release from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which runs Cayman Academy.

Customs Officer Tate McFarlane speaks with students about the work of the canine unit.
Customs Officer Tate McFarlane speaks with students about the work of the canine unit.

Education Minister Tara Rivers toured the career fair. She said it is important for students to “connect with employers from industries they may not have previously considered.”

Cayman Enterprise City showcased the diverse employers in the special economic zone.

Enterprise City CEO Charlie Kirkconnell said his organization is committed to working “in partnership with all schools and colleges to encourage students to consider careers in STEM, and to connect young Caymanians with opportunities within Cayman Enterprise City.”

The Customs Department brought its canine unit, demonstrating how the dogs can detect drugs. The department also brought one of its high-speed boats, used in operations to catch drug smugglers at sea.

The Health Services Authority exhibit had staff rotating through the day to showcase healthcare fields for students. The HSA not only relies on doctors and nurses, but also on a staff of administrators, and finance and technical specialists.

HSA communications manager Lisa Parks said the HSA hoped to highlight “the many diverse professions available within the healthcare industry.

Students check out the popular UCCI robotics exhibit.
Students check out the popular UCCI robotics exhibit.

“All of these areas are essential to our operations,” she said.

The Mosquito Research and Control Unit displayed mosquitoes under a microscope.

Cayman Academy Principal O’Neil Duncan said his school took the lead in organizing the fair to fill a need for all students in Cayman. Mr. Duncan said many high school students “are not prepared for life after graduation.

“We want the next generation to be more creative,” he said, in connecting what they learn in school with applications for developing skills for a career. He said he hopes that students will be able to make better decisions about careers.

A number of government agencies hosted exhibits, including Environmental Health, Agriculture, Fire Services, Lands & Survey, Planning, the National Workforce Development Agency, the Scholarship Secretariat, Tourism, Education, Customs, Immigration, Weather Service, Children & Family Services, the Family Resource Centre, Computer Services, Environment, Government Information Services, the Truman Bodden Law School and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

The private sector was represented by the Cayman Contractors Association, law firm TMC Chambers and many others.

Universities also highlighted their programs, including the University of the West Indies, Northern Caribbean University and UCCI.

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