The Cayman Islands Stock Exchange have donated tuition fees to help two young Caymanians, Aaron Lyn and Ernest Bennett pursue the career of their dreams by becoming auto mechanics at the new Superior Auto Apprenticeship Centre.
It was 2010 when Denise DeMercado and her husband Mark, CEO and proprietor of the Superior Auto Apprenticeship Centre who are proprietors and started the Superior Auto Apprenticeship Programme with six students. The dream was borne, when Ms. DeMercado had to turn a young man seeking employment away, because he had no training as a mechanic. Now, nearly ten years later, their programme has trained a large number of students, who gain an internationally-recognised qualification which is accredited by Jamaican German Automotive School (JAGAS) and the HEART Trust/NTA, which they began in a room attached to the garage, (Superior Auto).
On August 21, 2019, the DeMercados cut the ribbon at the opening to their lovely new purpose-built training centre, near to Superior Auto Garage. The new two-story, 2,225 square foot building has three service bays on the ground floor, while the second floor is used for classrooms. It was in front of the new building that Cayman Islands Stock Exchange CEO Marco Archer, and Chairman, Anthony Travers, presented the cheques to the new apprentices, covering the entire cost for their training of 14 months.
The programme includes a good grounding of theory, taught in the classrooms, including English, mathematics and technical drawing, as well as hands-on experience in every aspect of auto repair and maintenance in trainees bay and the entire facility at Superior Auto. All training will be provided by a qualified Instructor and other experts in the industry. The programme has recently been expanded to include furniture making, plumbing, and air conditioning technology, too.
Lisa Lyn, mother of Aaron Lyn, said, “I am very happy, because it’s very good for the young people to get some hands-on experience with a technical school. 18- year old Aaron said, “I am very happy because being a mechanic is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Desreen Binns, the mother of new apprentice Ernest Bennett said: “I’m excited and proud of my son because he’s always wanted to be an aircraft mechanic so this is a step into his dream, and 22-year old Ernest said that he was very happy for the opportunity to be doing the apprenticeship, too.
Marco Archer said: “We are happy to do this because we recognize what Superior Auto has been doing for quite some time and we wanted to make sure that the young people continue to have an opportunity to develop a skill.
Mr. Anthony Travers OBE, Chairman of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, and Mr. Marco Archer, the CEO of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange made the decision to sponsor the Aaron Lyne and Matthew Bennet. The sponsorship covers the entire 14-month course. Speaking on behalf of the Board of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, Mr. Travers indicated that the Exchange wished to assist Caymanians participating in the programme which would enable them to acquire technical skills across a broad range of mechanical requirements including motor engines, aircraft engines, and air-conditioning. Also in attendance, were Mark and Denise DeMercado, the Joint CEO’s of Superior Auto and founders of the Apprenticeship programme.