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INSPIRE CAYMAN URGES CAREERS OVER ENTRY-LEVEL JOBS

Local News 13 Apr, 2023 Follow News

Michael Myles

Having just graduated a new cohort of trainees, Michael Myles of Inspire Cayman continues to inspire Caymanians to unlock their potential and strive for success in their chosen fields.

With the employment post-Covid at record highs, the Inspire Cayman founder is encouraging Caymanians, especially youth, to strive for careers and develop their skillsets rather than just settling for entry-level roles.

Appearing on the re-launched Cayman Conversations with Ralph Lewis, publisher of Caymanian Times newspaper, Mr Myles said he was concerned about a continued spike in work permit applications unless Caymanians are adequately ‘upskilled’ to take on these roles.

“We don’t have a jobs problem in Cayman. We have the jobs here. What we haven’t done is train our people to not only do entry-level positions. They now need to move up into being the supervisor, the technicians, the managers, the executives and so on,” he urged.

It’s a point also made by the General Manager of the Ritz Carlton, Marc Langevin, when he was interviewed on Cayman Conversations a few days before.

The Inspire Cayman founder is again appealing for funding to support the programmes they are carrying to address this issue, which he fears could lead to a damaging loss of skilled and young Caymanains leaving the jurisdiction if not addressed.

“This is what I tell a lot of folks; a kid finishes school at 16 or 17 years old. There’s no further education for them other than UCCI, so they are going off island.”

This Mr Myles feels is a loss to Cayman and deprives the jurisdiction of people with the vital skills and expertise to support the economy.

And it’s where he said his organisation Inspire Cayman plays a vital role.

“When I sit down and talk to people, I don’t just talk to them about jobs anymore. People have jobs. What I talk to them about is the career path of where we can take them with additional training and commitment.”

Mr Myles who was a candidate in the last election, ran on a platform mainly focusing on youth, education and employment. He says while other candidates also highlighted the importance of this in their campaigns, he is not seeing that being translated enough into action by those who have entered Parliament and even Government.

“My issue is that people are talking a lot and not doing a lot,” he states.

The Inspire Cayman founder stresses that in order to fill the skills gap and meet the demands of the economy, more commitment is needed to support Inspire Cayman’s training and development programmes.

“One of the things I’ve tried to get the government on board with is consistent funding. I have organisations calling to employ people. But those people need training and scholarships to fund their training. But now I need the commitment from government, real commitment,” Mr Myles said noting that Hon. Premier Wayne Panton has pledged to provide funding support to Inspire Cayman.

But while he welcomes that, the Inpsire Cayman director makes a thought-provoking observation about funding priorities as he sees them in Cayman at present.

“I mean, we’re spending more and more money on the prison. We are spending more and more money on social assistance programmes. We are continuing to spend more and more money on education, but our children are still not competitive.”

Against that background, Mr Myles wants to see more effort into developing Caymanians for critical job roles across all sectors of the economy and professions.

“So let’s incentivise that. We need more Caymanian entrepreneurs. We need more Caymanian teachers. We need more Caymanian technicians in the automotive industry. That’s what the US is now doing. That’s what Canada is doing. That’s what Europe is now doing. My job is to make sure that Somalians our countrymen are competitive because the world has changed…The truth has to be told that our people need to be trained up and we need to make sure that they’re competitive.”

(You can listen to the full interview with Michael Myles, Director of Inspire Cayman, on Cayman Conversations with Ralph Lewis on the Caymanian Times website, Facebook and YouTube pages)


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