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Cayman economic zone focuses on local employment
Published on August 20, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs Tara Rivers (centre) is joined by her ministry’s chief officer Mary Rodrigues and senior policy advisor human capital development Philip Scott in a meeting with Cayman Enterprise City’s chief development officer Cindy O’Hara and chief executive officer Charlie Kirkconnell

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- Newly-elected Cayman Islands minister of education, Tara Rivers, recently met with the board of Enterprise Cayman, Cayman Enterprise City’s (CEC) career development bureau, to begin the process of implementing an initiative to aid the training, employment and advancement of Caymanians in the special economic zone.

The initiative was part of the definitive agreement between CEC and the Cayman Islands government. The Enterprise Cayman board, which includes two members appointed by the government and three named by CEC, has been meeting on a regular basis since January and has developed a strategy document for the initiative to cover short, medium and long term goals.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the strategy document outlining the function and goals of Enterprise Cayman. The primary objective is to raise awareness among young Caymanians of the opportunities that will become available to them within the zone as it develops, and to assist them in getting the exposure and training they need to apply for these jobs in the coming years. Enterprise Cayman will develop programs and initiatives to encourage young people to further their education to develop technical skills as they become the next generation of Caymanian innovators and technology entrepreneurs.

Enterprise Cayman’s immediate focus is on young people who are currently looking for work, or will soon be, such as students who have recently left school or college on the island, and those studying overseas and who will be seeking jobs here upon their return.

The board and the minister discussed the Cayman Enterprise City online jobs portal that has been developed in partnership with local recruitment firm CML Offshore Recruitment. The portal enables Caymanians to browse available jobs in the zone and upload their resumes, which will then be automatically scanned for skills sets and matched to potentially applicable job openings. As the zone grows and more jobs and opportunities become available, this jobs portal will be a vital conduit in helping Caymanians with technical expertise find employment in the zone.

“Enterprise Cayman is all about connecting Caymanians with opportunities in the zone, not just future jobs and training, but opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship and how to foster an idea and create it into a workable, equitable business – everything from A to Z,” said Cindy O’Hara, chief development officer for Cayman Enterprise City and board member of Enterprise Cayman.

“As a Caymanian entrepreneur myself, I am delighted to be part of this partnership with government and look forward to proactively agreeing upon and rolling out some of the excellent initiatives over the coming months and years,” she added.

Rivers is excited for the partnership and commented, “I look forward to strengthening the partnership between the Cayman Islands government, ministry of education and Cayman Enterprise City.”

Enterprise Cayman’s strategic plan also includes strategies for the creation of multiple youth sponsorships designed to encourage greater interest in mathematics, science and information technology, career counselling, targeted development opportunities for local talent and entrepreneurship seminars. These strategies, along with how Enterprise Cayman might be able to work with the department of education to implement them, were discussed at the meeting.

Related to the Enterprise Cayman initiative, following the recent success of the Cayman Enterprise City summer internship programme, CEC will continue this programme and encourage its zone companies to participate. The objective is to give Cayman’s young people experience within the media and marketing industry, including film, plus the commodities and internet and technology industries. Enterprise Cayman will also work with CEC to invite as many young locals as possible to its BizNet client networking events and make introductions where possible. There are also plans to offer technology camps for school children next year, and Enterprise Cayman is looking at bringing in experts from the US to facilitate entrepreneurial days, which foster creativity and business idea mapping for aspiring local entrepreneurs.
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