Cayman Islands to Continue Tourism Employment Drive

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Above: Grand Cayman (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Cayman Islands will be renewing its push to increase tourism employment in 2014.

Last year, a public/private partnership between the government and the territory’s tourism sector launched a two-month Tourism Employment Drive, which was a partnership between tourism industry businesses and the National Workforce Development Agency.

It was the brainchild of business owners and tourism professionals including the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman’s Janette Goodman, Steven Hayes of Tropical Trader Restaurant Group and Markus Mueri of NM Ventures.

Its goal was to match “unemployed Caymanians interested in the tourism industry with potential employers,” according to a release.

“This long-term partnership has real potential to create change and to ensure that Caymanians have opportunities to be active participants in the growing tourism labour market,” said Education, Employment and Gender Affairs Minister Tara Rivers.  “In addition to providing employment opportunities the focus of the partnership is on human capital training and development which is critical for successful employment and career advancement in the industry.”

Last year’s TED campaign included a five-district road show on Grand Cayman that saw 120 people meet with tourism professionals and receive training packages.

“The TED programme has helped us address practical challenges of connecting job seekers to the opportunities in the tourism industry,” said NWDA Manager for Employment Services Lois Kellyman. “We look forward to working with Cayman Islands Tourism Association on more employment drives and calling on the tourism association as a resource in our ongoing job placement initiatives.”

More than 10 percent of those who participated last year are now working in the tourism industry.

“Decision makers in the tourism industry dedicated hundreds of hours to the TED programme, literally going district to district to meet with people,” said CITA president Ken Hydes. “As with any new programme, this one had a few challenges; we are refining the processes and are encouraged by our results so far. With strong support from government and a commitment to an annual drive and ongoing follow ups, the tourism industry has a systematic plan to draw more Caymanians into our business.”

 

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