When Michael Myles established the Inspire Cayman Training Centre in February 2019, he envisioned that it would be a beacon of hope to many Caymanians who have aspirations of developing careers in the Career & Technical industry.
Inspire Cayman Training Limited (ICT) is an accredited Technical and Vocational Education & Training (TVET) Centre; and one of only two such centres licensed by the Education Council of the Ministry of Education for the Cayman Islands Government. The center have a large catalogue of training programmes available (subject to demand) as advertised on their website and continues to work on increasing their portfolio of accreditations in 2020.
ICT is an accredited training center for the following international organizations: NCCER, EDUQUAL, Advanced Solutions Technical Institute, ILM and is affiliated with PADI and Automotive Service Excellence. Mr. Myles explained that he was very motivated to ensure the center was international accredited because the Caymanian population is very transient and he wanted to ensure anyone who attained the credentials would be qualified to work anywhere in the world and the credentials would be recognized.
According to the most current statistics from WORC, the Cayman Islands has over 30, 000+ work permits, approximately 12,000+ work permits are opportunities that have career pathways and entrepreneurial opportunities. The majority of these jobs require on the job training, certification and/or accreditation.
Mr. Myles explains that the Cayman Islands economy is booming with opportunities that lead to a great living, however, everyone except for the Caymanian people are benefiting. After multiple meetings with Government Ministers and civil servants, he quickly realised that developing young people, unemployed and/or under employed Caymanians is not a priority. Mr. Myles explained that “TVET training is in the 2016 Education Bill, however persons applying for TVET grants with the exception of attending UCCI, does not exist.”
As the former At-Risk Coordinator for the Ministry of Education and House Manager at the Bonaventure Home, Mr. Myles knows all too well what happens to young people who are ill prepared. “I have seen many young people remain trapped in the criminal justice system, incarcerated, lose their lives to gangs and guns, become teenage parents, live in poverty or have to depend on welfare.” As the popularity of ICT grew on the island, Mr. Myles explained that he continues to meet with parents and persons in Cayman, majority of them young Caymanians recently out of high school who are losing hope and are frustrated. Mr. Myles stated that these youngsters want training and a career but cannot afford it.
If anyone knows Michael Myles, he is a person who is driven to serve his people. He explained that he simply got tired of waiting for the government to work out the TVET grant process. Mr. Myles stated that he needed to create another avenue of funding for Caymanians, therefore he created his own non-profit to provide scholarships, “Build Your Future Cayman (BYFC).” Thanks to the kind donations from Rotary Club of the Cayman Islands, Haag Bodden Scholarship, ITC International, Kozaily Designs, Pro Yacht, Contractors Association, Bob Soto Scholarship, Reliable Industries and Michael & his wife Jackie, ten (10) Caymanians have received BYFC scholarships.
Daejon Chollette is a young Caymanian who is benefiting from the BYFC scholarship. Mr. Chollate stated “I am very appreciative of this opportunity. My educational and professional goals is to be a Building Developer. By accepting this opportunity from ICT, it is a step in the right direction of helping me prepare to meet the demands of my career.”
Jessica Frederick-Martinez is passionate about her career goals. After graduating from the Passport2success she understood all too well that she still as not prepared to compete unless she has a credential. Jessica stated that she is excited about the opportunity to be a recipient of the BYFC “I have a passion for Customer Service and want to learn more about the electrical field. This training helps me accomplish both.”
April Manderson has accepted the BYFC scholarship as a second chance to build her career. She explained that having this opportunity gives her the knowledge to begin building her life. “Knowledge is power. I want to be successful and I want to be a good employee”
Mr. Myles explained that he started meeting with employers in June 2018 to understand what their needs are. He anticipated that they would tell him that they needed more automotive technicians, builders, plumbers, electricians etc. He was very surprised that after meeting with over 70 employers, the discussions remained consistent with preparing Caymanians with employability skills. Employers reported the many challenges with Caymanians, especially young Caymanians who could not present themselves well in an interview, resolve on the job conflict, attend work on time and consistently, dress appropriately etc.
After further preparation to establish the center, Mr. Myles understood that in addition to skills training, employability skills must be mandatory if he is to assist persons with transitioning to a career path and transforming their lives. Trainees wishing to take part in one of the vocational courses must first complete a ‘Tools for Success’ course which teaches essential employability skills. Modules in the mandatory course cover getting a job, keeping your job, building strong relationships with your supervisor, teamwork, communication skills, giving and receiving criticism and conflict resolution.
Jonathan Fredericks understands that if he is to compete in today’s labour market, he must have the Tools for Success course. Jonathan’s aspiration is to become a Master Electrician and he must be dependable if he is to be successful. “I have four years of hands on work experience in the electrical field and I love it. The BYFC scholarship puts me closer to achieving my dream of becoming a Master Electrician.”
Two trainees that continue to absorb all that ICT training has offered is Shaun Jackson and Kameron D’Hue. They were the first trainees of ICT, beginning their journey in August 2019; both have pursued the PADI Instructor training. To date, they have successful completed their Tools for Success, Open Water, Advance Open Water, Rescue Diver, Divemaster and have received their International Yacht Training certification to operate boats up to forty foot.
By the end of April 2020, both youngmen would have achieved their ultimate goal, becoming certified PADI Instructors. Mr. Myles stated that both youngmen is making history in the country by their accomplishments. They are proving that with hard work and sacrifice, Cayman can produce professional PADI instructors in industry that has few Caymanians in this industry. Both youngmen will eventually join the Caymanian PADI Instructor ranks with Regime Powery and Jessica Smith who are both employed at Divetech as Instructors and is a partner of ICT.
Mr. Myles stated that after attending career fairs at Cayman International School, Cayman Academy, St. Ignatius, Clifton Hunter High School, John Grey High School and Chamber of Commerce Career Fair at UCCI, there must be a greater investment in Career and Technical Education. “My team and I have spoken with hundreds of young people who had no clue of the hundreds of high paying careers in the industries of construction, automotive, diving, tourism. We have to improve how we educate our children and their parents on the many industries we have created in the Cayman Islands from a very early age, which should begin as early as year/grade 5 & 6. When we interview prospective trainees at ICT, we no longer discuss jobs, we are discussing career paths and being an entrepreneur. Why are we not training our people to own their own business?”
Mr. Myles is urging corporate Cayman to get involve in the development of their future employees by donating to the BYFC scholarship fund. Mr. Myles can be reached at email@example.com or 939-1301. Interested applicants for the BYFC scholarship can access the scholarship application on the website, www.inspirecaymantraining.com.