George Town East: TVET courses up for debate

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In a five-way debate for George Town East, challengers said government should do more to encourage and provide technical and vocational training — while incumbent Roy McTaggart said there are now plenty of TVET opportunities being offered in Cayman.

McTaggart and fellow candidates Richard Bernard, Emily DeCou, Christina Hislop Rowlandson and Frank McField appeared on the Cayman Crosstalk radio show on Monday.

(Watch the show here.)

When asked about how to enhance technical education, Bernard said there needs to be a vocational school.

McField said educators have to stimulate an interest in TVET careers in young people.

“It’s not the fault of any of the children or youth. It’s the fault of the people who run the educational system. Not the teachers. The bureaucrats, the politicians, they understand nothing about education and how to educate,” McField said.

Hislop Rowlandson said the government should work with employers to provide TVET mentorships, internships, apprenticeships and “a raft of opportunities” for students.

DeCou said government must ensure students have courses that allow them to fill roles being created in Cayman. “We do them a disservice by not prioritising secondary and tertiary education,” she said.

McTaggart said that 4 years ago, he would have agreed that there was an issue with technical education in Cayman.

“But a lot has changed in the 4 years,” he said, pointing to the 20-plus vocational training courses offered in high schools and CIFEC.

He also referred to Public Works Department’s apprenticeship programme, which provides City & Guilds qualifications in fields such as carpentry, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, etc.

“Clearly some don’t know, or are not aware, of the facilities that exist at the Public Works Department because we just finished spending a whole load of money building infrastructure, classrooms and practical space for the Public Works Department,” McTaggart said.

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