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Inspire Vocational Programme Lives Up to Its Name

Local News 31 May, 2023 Follow News

Chris Myles on site with Phoenix Construction after receiving his Excavator Certification from the Inspire vocational training programme.

(L-R) Chris Myles sits in the simulator next to Chief Operating Officer and Instructor Mr. Sean Glidden.

(L-R) Inspire Founder Michael Myles, Chris Myle and Chief Operating Officer and Instructor Mr. Sean Glidden present the Excavator Certification.

(L-R) Inspire Founder Michael Myles, Chris Myles, Phoenix Construction Operations Manager, Mr. Keith McCarthy and Chief Operating Officer and Instructor Mr. Sean Glidden.

The Inspire vocational and personal development programme is living up to its name and has been producing success stories that many in the community are taking notice of.

The Inspire programme is a testament to how much people’s lives can change with access to the right tools to empower them and has introduced state of the art technology that avails participants of specialised training, providing them with skills they would be unable to attain in the Cayman Islands, otherwise.

One such story is that of Caymanian Chris Myles, who has recently been certified as an Excavator Operator.

Chris’ success story began in 2019, after joining Phoenix Construction, starting as a carpenter working on the South Sound Board Walk, where he spent 6 to 8 months, before moving onto more projects, after the management noticed that he was the right fit for the job.

Initially, Chris’ official job title was that of ‘rough carpenter’, and involved in concrete works and ‘boxing’. However, he wanted to contribute more and was eager to start making his way up the ranks.

He had already been showing signs of immense potential and his bosses were quick to respond.

“The company started testing him out in the bobcat and telehandler forklift and he made a really easy and good transition to beginner equipment,” noted Phoenix Construction Operations Manager, Mr. Keith McCarthy.

He added that management realised they wanted to get some further training for Chris.

“This was a natural progression for Chris and Inspire was the only option to get this kind of training in the Cayman Islands,” he remarked, noting that Inspire’s Founder, Mr. Michael Myles had a great vision.

“It was an easy fit to get Chris into the programme and the simulator provided a safe environment for him get into even more specialised equipment. He can now operate bigger equipment and the simulator has given Chris the knowledge to handle extended boom telehandlers and excavators.

“We have already seen the results of that training on our site,” noted Mr. McCarthy, adding, “Inspire made this happen,” and that he was excited to see others go through the programme.

The simulator Chris trained in allows participants to gain skills on machine/s of their choice from 24 different types.

Inspire has invested over $100,000 into the simulator technology that is now giving Caymanians with vocational talents the opportunity to learn and gain a highly accredited certificate in heavy equipment handling.

“We want to instill proper training in all our staff; both Caymanians and non-Caymanians. This gives them a way to get to the next level and leadership skills,” noted Mr. McCarthy. 

“This is a testament to Chris,” he added in relation to Mr. Chris Myles’ completion of the programme at Inspire; gaining the skills and the certificate to operate specialised heavy equipment.

Mr. McCarthy added that in Chris’ time with the company, “…it’s been a pleasure working with him from start to finish.

“He’s the first guy on site and takes care of everyone around him. For him to be in the biggest piece of equipment gives us the peace of mind to know we are in safe hands.”

Mr. Chris Myles also spoke with the Caymanian Times:

“Inspire has taught me a lot I didn’t know about how to care for the machines and also how to create a safer environment for other workers. It’s not a game on site. It’s reality,” he explained, adding that he wanted to thank his company for the certification of excavator operator.

The Inspire programme was founded by former social worker Michael Myles, who has spent over 30 years developing Cayman young people.

Six of those years were spent in the Education Ministry.

He explained that during that time he observed failures in how youngsters were ushered through the education system.

“I started Inspire out of frustration. A lot of our young people were ended up in prison or dead. We could tell where a youngster would end up from the age of five, due to certain predictors,” he remarked.

He explained that the Cayman Islands is currently spending 50 million dollars on policing, 30 million dollars on prison and 6 million dollars on welfare and noted that a fraction of those funds could be better spent “training our children to compete.”

“People have different skills,” he remarked and outlined that it was important to foster vocational talent to create a well-balanced and thriving workforce.

Up until recently there were no scholarships for youngsters to attend the Inspire trade and vocational programme. Employers were the only way vocationally inclined youths were able to access this type of training.

Over the past two years, Mr. Michales Myles personally raised over $CI 260,000 to pay staff and run the programme. 

However, Inspire will now be doing all the professional training for the National Workforce Development Agency/ ‘WORC’ and there are three more simulators, such as the one Chris Myles trained in on the way - along with scores of other new programmes.

There have also been 24 scholarships from the Department of Tourism.

CUC, Dart and Phoenix Construction also have contracts with the Inspire vocational training programme for workforce development.

Additionally, there are  3 new learning management systems rolling out at Inspire.

The Programme has been offering professional online accreditation for some time now.

With a cadre of instructors in everything from water-sports to PADI certification, a growing compliment of full-time staff, therapists and other essential resources for personal and professional development, the Inspire programme has been growing rapidly in the past few months.

Mr. Michael Myles determination, “..to get the best possible people into the best possible organizations,” seems to be making an impact that is reverberating through boardrooms across the Cayman Islands.

His motto of “We Serve” is vastly changing the trajectory and narrative for many of the Cayman Islands’ young people. 

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