President Paul Byles and members of the Chamber Council’s Executive Committee met with Opposition Members of the Legislative Assembly for the first time since the election on February 6 to seek support for the Chamber’s Advocacy Agenda and Action Plan.
President Byles welcomed the Hon. Ezzard Miller, Leader of the Opposition, who was joined by Deputy Leader Mr. Alva Suckoo, and informed them that the Chamber is looking forward to establishing a working relationship.
“We are not a political organisation, so it is of the utmost importance that we communicate with all elected and appointed leaders of government,” said President Byles.
Education, employment and workforce development, one of the main pillars of the Chamber’s Advocacy Agenda and Action Plan, was a prevalent topic of discussion during the meeting. President Byles informed the Opposition members of the Chamber’s plan to create a summer youth work experience programme for students between the ages of 14 and 17, and how the membership would be enlisted to join in the initiative.
Other initiatives presented in the Advocacy Agenda were also raised during the meeting, including the promotion of technical and vocational careers, and the need to bridge the gap between the classroom and the world of work.
Mr. Miller welcomed the summer work experience programme as a way for students to receive career guidance at an earlier age. He further stated that he wanted existing facilities, such as local high schools, to be developed to offer a more comprehensive range of courses vocational and technical training focussing on skilled trades.
Vice President Woody Foster noted that the Chamber intends to support existing programmes, such as the Public Works vocational and technical training initiative, and the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC).
President Byles also asked the Opposition members to help to coordinate volunteers in their districts for community efforts such as the Earth Day Clean-up, the Environmental Pledge, and others. The Oppositions members agreed to assist, noting the importance of collaboration between the private sector and the districts.
The Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to collaborating with the Opposition members and the other elected members of Government in the future and would like to thank Mr. Miller and Mr. Suckoo for taking the time to meet with the Executive Committee.