The second year of the Cayman Finance Student Education and Work Experience Programme has concluded after a successful nine weeks of workshops and mentor sessions and a four week long work placement component.
The programme was developed in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs and the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment with the goal of educating young Caymanians on the importance of the financial services industry, as well as creating pathways for those who are interested in pursuing careers in the industry.
In its pilot year, the programme was available exclusively for Year 12 students in the government dual-enrollment programme in Grand Cayman. Due to its remendous success, this year the programme was expanded to include Caymanian students in private schools as well as students from Cayman Brac.
In total, 68 students completed the workshop and mentor components, with 64 students accepting work experience placements at 29 different organisations. There were a total of 74 mentors trained from 19 different organisations and 32 individual organisations participated in total.
At a recent celebration event, Bryan Hunter, Chairman of the Cayman Finance Public Awareness Committee, highlighted the growth of the programme from its inception year.
“Last year’s programme was a tremendous success with 50 students taking part, but this year those numbers were increased across the board,” he said. “The support from Cayman Finance member firms as well as other organisations across the island has allowed the programme to grow significantly.”
Participating schools were Grace Christian Academy, Wesleyan Christian Academy, Cayman Prep School, St Ignatius Catholic School, Cayman International School, Layman E. Scott Sr. High School, Triple C School, and UCCI.
The workshop and mentorship elements of the programme were designed to increase education about what the financial services industry is and why it is a crucial element of our community. Students were able to learn more about the various sectors of the financial industry, available professions and employment opportunities within the industry, and interact one-on-one with industry professionals, including senior managers and partners. The programme also included soft skills training such as interview skills and workplace etiquette.
Hon. Tara Rivers, Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs offered the full support of her ministry to the programme for the second year.
“This programme is an exciting and important way to connect young Caymanians with senior professionals in order to build relationships and provide crucial experience that will allow students to decide whether the financial services industry is for them and give them the confidence to pursue that career if that is the case,” she said.
Hon. Wayne Panton, Minister for Financial Services, also offered strong support saying that the programme is an essential part of Cayman’s efforts to support and educate the community on the importance of the financial services industry.
“Financial services has been the largest employer of Caymanians for years, and this programme seeks to increase awareness among young people today about the possibilities available to them in our financial services industry,” he said. ‘It gives youth hands-on understanding of the opportunities across the broad range of careers in both Government and the private sector.”
Mr Hunter said that he was thankful for all the support the programme had received in order to make it possible for a second year.
“This programme would not have been possible without the support of the two Ministries, the Cayman Finance member firms, and the outside organisations who participated,” he said. “Thank you to all mentors, teachers, workshop facilitators, and of course the students themselves, who helped to make this a success. Thank you also to Cayman Airways for flying in our students from Cayman Brac.”
Jude Scott, CEO of Cayman Finance, said that he would like to especially highlight the efforts of the Cayman Finance committee who led the programme for a second year.
“Cayman Finance is committed to helping the community better understand the important role that our industry plays in the local and global economies as well as creating pathways for bright young Caymanians into the industry ,” he said. “This programme is an important part of that initiative and I cannot wait to see its continued success in years to come.”
Photo Caption 1 (l to r): Bryan Hunter, Chair of Cayman Finance Public Awareness Committee, Christen Suckoo, Chief Officer for the Ministry of Education, Employment & Gender Affairs, Hon Tara Rivers, Minister of Education, Employment & Gender Affairs and Dax Basdeo, Chief Officer for the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce & Environment
Photo caption (2): Students in the programme accepting their competition certificate. Ali Solomon, Tishauna Taylor, Torrean Shields & Isabella Hall
Photo caption (3): 2016 programme participants