The following is a press release from the University College of the Cayman Islands:
On July 8, 2022, the University College of the Cayman Islands hosted an official launch, to welcome 55 Caymanians into a free training programme, made possible by a grant of €432,000 (CI$405,000) from the European Union (EU) RESEMBID Programme.
The University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) received the funding for unemployed and underemployed Caymanians to engage in a year-long training programme in sustainable trades, which begins on 18 July 2022.
The stakeholder event brought together the 55 Caymanians, along with industry partners including WORC, the Chamber of Commerce and GreenTech Solar. RESEMBID Programme Manager, Nnyeka Prescod, also delivered remarks marking the commencement of the training programme.
RESEMBID, funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France – the development cooperation agency of the Government of France – supports sustainable human development efforts in 12 Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) – Aruba, Anguilla, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Montserrat, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Barthelemy, Sint Maarten and Turks and Caicos.
The RESEMBID grant is intended to provide support to the Cayman Islands after the COVID-19 crisis, which resulted in a substantial number of unemployed persons across the islands. The project will assist Caymanians in moving towards gaining sustainable employment and long-term social and economic resilience in four key sectors: sustainable construction, renewable energy, Information Communications Technology (ICT) and tourism. The programme was initially opened for 50 Caymanians between the ages of 18 and 45. However, due to the high volume of applicants, this was extended to 55.
Training for the 55 persons will commence on 18 July 2022 and will continue until February 2023. Thereafter, participants will undergo a 3-month internship with placements relevant to the chosen field of study.
Leading the RESEMBID project for the University College of the Cayman Islands, is Project Officer, Cleveland Julien. Mr. Julien stated, “We had an extremely high number of applications to the programme and each one was extremely impressive. Well over 100 eligible people applied for the training and it was a difficult task to choose from the applicants, which is why we extended to 55. We can’t wait to start the training on 18 July and our industry partners have been phenomenal in their support. A big thank you to all involved in bringing this much-needed project to fruition. Not least to RESEMBID, without whom this would not have been possible.”
“We are still actively searching for more business partners and volunteers. Volunteers from all walks of life can help us to create a bright future for these 55 Caymanians. We truly look forward to seeing what their futures hold,” he said.
Over the coming weeks the programme will be extended to Cayman Brac so that at least 15 more Caymanians will have the opportunity to be exposed to similar training opportunities based on the needs identified.
RESEMBID Programme Director, Fabian McKinnon provided reflections on the launch of the training programme, and its practical support to the people of the Cayman Islands.
“It is critical to RESEMBID that we fulfil our function to serve the 12 OCTs in the region and that function is supporting sustainable development. We are happy to see this significant milestone marking the start of this important project but thrilled that even more persons than we had originally anticipated will be trained by the course. These 55 people will soon be better able to contribute to a sustainably skilled work force for the Cayman Islands and RESEMBID is proud to be part of that,” he said.