Caribbean Utilities Company Ltd. (CUC) is currently hosting 19 students in its annual Summer Internship and Vocational Trainee Programme.
The vocational trainees and university students are receiving hands-on experience where they have the opportunity to work in the field with various departments. Students are assigned to several departments within the Administration building including the Corporate Communications, Regulatory and Sustainability and Human Resources departments, while others have donned steel-toe boots, Personal Protective Equipment and hard hats to work in the Power Plant.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic drastically affected the world causing widespread economic and social disruption. Despite the circumstances, CUC remained committed to its pursuit of offering Cayman’s youth an opportunity to work with the Company during the summer and so launched its first totally virtual summer programme.
However, this year, due to diligent and responsible government COVID-19 regulations, CUC has resumed its in-person Summer Internship and Vocational Trainee Programme in a COVID-free environment. The 19 students range from ages 15 to 23 consisting of 11 university students and eight high school students. These students have been placed in various departments where they will gain experience and learn about the Company and its operations.
Having returned to the in-person programme, the Company also resumed its Lunch and Learn sessions where interns and trainees attend bi-weekly conferences aimed at fostering professional and interpersonal skills, ultimately preparing students for the world of work. At the end of their programme, students will be required to produce projects based on their experiences with the Company.
Felicia Deslandes, CUC’s Manager Human Resources & Employee Development commended her team for their dedication and support to the students as the entire department spent several weeks preparing for the arrival of students. This included ensuring that all required paperwork was in order and that the students received their safety briefing and full induction prior to commencing their work experience. She added, “We’re very excited about the programme this year, as we do have nine scholarship recipients amongst the group who are keen to gain valuable experience. Each year the interest in our work experience programme increases and although we are not able to accommodate all applicants, we strongly encourage students who wish to gain relevant work experience to stay in touch with us.”
Dejea Lyons, a recent Cayman International School graduate, now a student enrolled at Bath Spa University in the United Kingdom, is spending her summer interning with the Company’s Regulatory and Sustainability Department. She said, “Thus far, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with CUC. Being a part of the Regulatory and Sustainability Department has given me the opportunity to gain insight as to what my future career may look like. Furthermore, the employees have created a space where my fellow interns and I can express our creative ideas without fear or judgement. I look forward to continuing my internship with CUC for the duration of the summer.”
Lé Bron McLean, 2020 recipient of the Thomson Leadership and Innovation Award Scholarship and student at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica, is currently interning in the Corporate Communications Department. He said, “It is refreshing to work in a company like CUC that is open to ideas, input and change. CUC provides an extremely welcoming environment, which supports learning and growth. I sometimes forget that I have only been here for a short period of time. However, I am grateful to be in such a professional and educational environment, which allows for my creativity to be challenged.”
CUC continues to be a leader in the growth of the community and has been successful in providing opportunities and training for approximately 300 young Caymanians over the past 21 years in the Summer Internship and Vocational Trainee Programme.
The Company is especially pleased this year to have the opportunity to resume an in-person programme where opportunities to prepare the youth of the Cayman Islands for future employment and possibilities can continue.