Cayman Finance has just concluded the first year of its Student Education & Work Experience Pilot Programme partnering with the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs and the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment to provide additional pathways into and experience in the financial services industry to young Caymanian students.
This 12 week programme was offered to Year-12 students in the government dual-enrollment programme working on their A-levels or completing their first year at UCCI.
Mr. Bryan Hunter, Chairman of the Cayman Finance Public Awareness Committee which was responsible for organizing the programme, said that he is pleased with the outcome of the programme.
“The response and support that we have received from Cayman Finance member firms to ensure we have a comprehensive programme for the participants has been tremendous,” Mr Hunter said. “That support enabled us to move quickly from concept to reality and Cayman Finance has many things of which to be proud in relation to the programme’s first year.”
The student programme consisted of eight in-classroom workshops, one-on-one weekly meetings with mentors for two months and a one month long paid work experience placement within the industry. The workshops highlighted key information about the financial services industry and its various sectors, including the available employment opportunities within the industry. They were also geared to providing the students with training on the soft skills that they will need to excel in their careers. The work experience placements also provided the students with training on interviewing skills, which should stand them in good stead when seeking employment in the future.
All mentors were professionals or senior managers within the industry and they all participated in mentorship training which was provided with the assistance of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Hon. Tara Rivers, Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs said the ministry fully supported the programme developed as a public-private partnership. “This is a very exciting pilot programme geared at getting students interested in the financial services industry. It allows students to interact one-on-one with senior professionals in the industry, making invaluable connections and getting that hands on experience to ensure students know what the industry demands and if it is the right career choice for them . I would like to thank our partners and the industry professionals in giving their time to provide this wonderful opportunity for our students,” Minister Rivers said.
The Hon. Wayne Panton, Minister for Financial Services said his ministry was eager to get involved with this programme. “We need to ensure there are, and continue to be, opportunities for young Caymanians in financial services, which is the largest industry in our country” Minister Panton said. “We understand the importance of exposing these students to these careers at a young age, in order to let them know more about the wide-ranging employment opportunities that exist within the industry.”
Mr Hunter said the programme would not have been possible without the tremendous support from Cayman Finance member firms. “We also had work experience placements provided by the Ministry of Financial Services, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants,” Mr Hunter said. “Cayman Finance would like to thank all of the mentors, workshop facilitators, HR professionals, teachers and organisations that came together to make our vision a reality.”
Mr. Jude Scott, Cayman Finance CEO, expressed his gratitude for the efforts of everyone involved in making the programme a success and especially thanked Mr Hunter for chairing the committee that lead the programme. He commented that his favourite quote from a student was ‘This experience was like opening up a door to a whole new world’.
“It was an enormous success and we look forward to running a similar programme again next year,” Mr. Scott said.
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