Students at Clifton Hunter High School were treated to a sampling of career fields at a mini career fair last week.
The event, held last Friday for students in Years 10 and 11, featured booths showcasing career options in the fields of public service, maritime, education, health and vocational jobs.
“The students really embraced it,” said Clifton Hunter High School Principal Pauline Beckford, who noted the focus of the fair was on vocational employment opportunities and career pathways for students.
“One of the things I am really keen to develop is that balance between the academic [and] vocational. Not everyone is going to university, and we need to be looking at what we offer that is on par with the academic pathway as well,” she said.
“Today was just a flavor of a careers day, and the students have really embraced it. Students were prepped before coming into the careers fair, and from the fair they will enrol in a ‘Take your child to work’ program.”
Throughout the day, students gathered career information from local representatives, who said they were impressed with the interest.
“The children were receptive and a number of them wanted to know what they needed to do to become a nurse,” said Christine Isaacs, a registered nurse at the Cayman Islands Hospital.
She said nursing was a profession that involved “caring and keeping people well,” and she highlighted the many areas of hospital work that students could become involved in.
Prisons Service Training Manager Steve Hansen also found students were interested in prison work as he assisted staff at the Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service booth.
“We had quite a few young adults inquiring about what we do and what the prison service is all about. Basically, I think they think we just lock them up,” he said.
Mr. Hansen discussed with students how the prison service works to rehabilitate prisoners, and offers education, life skills, plumbing, motor mechanics and other job opportunities.
“Once we got them talking, they wanted to know more. I think they learned a lot and I hope we gave them something to take away, and to realize we do a lot more than how the prison is seen in the public eye – just to lock people up,” Mr. Hansen said.
Prison staff also gave out cards to the students, who asked probing questions.
John Gray High School guidance counselor Christopher Murray said he had a number of students asking some interesting and some sensitive questions.
“They wanted to know how high they could go in the profession, what is our success rate,” he said.
Department of Public Works quantity surveyor Dennis Harris said students wanted to find out what types of jobs the department offers and what qualifications were needed for the jobs.
Student Joshua Howell said he got some positive career information from visiting the fair.
“I visited the Health Services booth and found lots of interesting things about scholarships and internships, because I want to be a neurosurgeon,” he said.
Student Jizel Powell said the Department of Public Works gave her lots of information on becoming a construction manager.
Rochell Foster signed up at the Red Sail Sports booth for an internship program, and visited KPMG for information on becoming a corporate lawyer.
Other students had different kinds of careers in mind.
“I searched the booths for information on professional football players, but I did not find that” said Jonadane Dawkins. After speaking with the principal, he discovered there were other options associated with football, such as being a physiotherapist.
“My other choice would be a fireman,” he said.