Local employers rolled out the red carpet — and in some cases, foosball tables, popcorn machines and VR headsets — for Cayman Islands high school students on Friday for the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Careers, Education & Training Expo.
“Preparing students for the ever-changing world of work is a role that the Chamber and its members take very seriously. In fact, for more than 25 years, the Chamber has organised an annual event to showcase the opportunities that exist as regards careers, tertiary education, scholarships, training and employment,” Chamber President Mike Gibb said in his introductory remarks to the event held at University College of the Cayman Islands’ Sir Vassel Johnson Hall.
A wide range of industries were represented at Friday’s event, as businesses and organisations from the public and private sector manned booths (some elaborate) designed to draw students’ interest and share information about the opportunities available in their sectors, and the skills that would be required to take advantage of those opportunities.
In her opening comments, UCCI President and CEO Stacy McAfee said that her university served nearly 1,900 adults and school leavers during the last academic year, with 85% of those being Caymanian. She said the number of UCCI’s students has grown by nearly 25% in the past 2 years.
Noting that some employers at the Careers Expo participate in UCCI’s Work Based Learning Programme, McAfee said in an email to the Current, “We believe in the importance of experiential learning. The best learning occurs when quality instruction in the classroom is paired with work based learning opportunities such as internships.”
Gibbs said, “It is important that we continue to encourage our students to strive for excellence and for them to adapt to a changing workforce. In less than a decade we have seen the emergence of robust health care and technology sectors which are creating hundreds of new jobs. This is good news as the world transitions more and more to the internet age.”
He said, “I challenge each of our organisations to do more to support educational organisations such as UCCI and ICCI, as well as other local training and development programmes. We must ensure that as many residents as possible who can contribute to our businesses and organisations are engaged in meaningful work and can succeed and move up into positions of management and business ownership. It is our responsibility to ensure that the next generation inherits a society that is as successful or better than our own.”
Several businesses and organisations posted photos from the Careers Expo on their Facebook pages. See here:
- Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce
- Butterfield Bank
- Doctors Hospital
- Health City Cayman Islands
- International College of the Cayman Islands
- National Gallery of the Cayman Islands
- Water Authority – Cayman
- YMCA Cayman Islands
***Editor’s Note: Gibbs highlighted the Chamber’s series of Candidates’ Forums. The first one is set for Monday, 8 March, featuring candidates from East End. The forums will occur on weekdays through the first week of April, and will be livestreamed online. Click here to view the schedule.**