Cayman Finance, the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs, and the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment have again joined forces to create a pathway for high-performing students into the Cayman Islands Financial Services Industry, aiming to create job-ready and engaged young professionals. Now in its second year, the programme has been expanded to support up to 75 Caymanian students. This year, in additional to at least 50 year 12 students from the government dual-enrolment programme, the programme will also include up to 25 Caymanian students in the comparable year from local private schools.
The Cayman Islands is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading international financial centres. Locally, more than 2,700 Caymanians are employed in financial services, and government receives more than 50% of its annual revenue from the industry. Leaders in government and the financial service industry recognise and fully support the potential for growing Cayman’s future capacity through increased local employment and improved skills and capability. This initiative creates early engagement and access to the Cayman Islands Financial Services Industry for relevant students, helping to build a core of globally competitive young professionals. Jude Scott, CEO of Cayman Finance, is energized about the direction the programme is headed:
“Cayman Finance believes strongly that developing close links with talented hard working young Caymanians and creating meaningful pathways in the formative stages is incredibly important to building the next generation of employees for Cayman’s financial services industry. We are pleased that the feedback from last year – from all stakeholders – was very positive, and it led us to increase our capacity by 50% to a total of 75 students. We could not be happier with the way this industry has embraced and championed this programme and the students who are participating.”
By early recognition of potential talent in local students, organisations in the Cayman Islands’ financial services sector have the opportunity to cultivate home grown talent. This is a critical aspect in ensuring the industry has a sustainable plan to operate and thrive in Cayman. Hon. Tara Rivers, Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs has been on board with the programme since its inception.
“When we invest in a public-private partnership that helps educate and train our young people, everyone wins. I have long been an advocate for supporting efforts that have the potential to make a real impact for our students and in our community. As the financial services industry is the largest contributor to our economy, it makes perfect sense to enhance potential future employment prospects for our students in tandem with and by educating them on the various aspects of the industry through classroom instruction and meaningful work experience”, she said.
The Hon. Wayne Panton, Minister for Financial Services, added, “As is evidenced by the pilot programme last year, there is a demand for this type of educational and work experience in Cayman. Through the efforts of all participating organisations, 75 more students will receive direct access to our industry’s most senior workers, providing a real path for Caymanian students to start a career in the financial services industry. My Ministry is pleased to again support and contribute to this joint programme, as it is one of the most innovative ways to help our young people become job ready in our number one economic pillar.”
The programme incorporates three distinct elements: including in-class workshops, one-on-one coaching and a paid work experience placement.
The programme has expanded from the pilot year, not only in numbers of participants, but in the level of information shared with the students. There are three main components of the programme that work in combination to deliver a comprehensive and cohesive introduction to the financial services industry. Students attend weekly workshops over a nine-week period to learn more about the industry as a whole. One-on-one mentor sessions with senior level professionals in the industry take place weekly during the same nine-week period. Mentors work with the students to review the industry information and help the students write their CV’s, practice for interviews and help them prepare for their work placement. The final component is a four-week work experience with a Cayman Finance member organisation or government agency.
The official launch of the programme is 18th April, with the orientation session; workshops and mentor meetings begin the following week. Students participate in the work placements during the summer months. Upon successful completion of all components of the programme, students each receive a US $1000 stipend.