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Labour study to pinpoint where training is needed

Cayman Conversation 08 Jun, 2023 Follow News

Labour study to pinpoint where training is needed

Cleveland Julian

Mathew McGill

In the latest Cayman Conversations with the UCCI, Caymanian Times publisher Ralph Lewis spoke with the UCCI’s administrative assistant for the RESEMBID programme, Matthew McGill, and Cleveland Julien, UCCI’s project manager for science technology/Project Officer, Profession & Technical Education & Training, about the important labour market assessment study currently underway. 

The UCCI has received two RESEMBID (Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity) grants from the European Union to help them focus on human capital development initiatives. The first grant enabled 50 students to enroll across four sectors and highlighted the need to assess what Cayman’s labour needs would be in the next ten to 15 years. The UCCI, working in tandem with the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce, has therefore enrolled professionals to assess these needs. The report will eventually be made available to stakeholders and the public at large.

Mr McGill has a background in urban planning, and it is his job to oversee the deliverables of the project, ensuring that they report back to the EU in a timely manner and to monitor the various activities of the project.

He said that the report would serve as a means of identifying gaps in the labour market where people - especially the 2,700 individuals displaced from the tourism sector in the Covid pandemic – need to be trained up.

“It will be assessing the gaps in the labour market, looking at what’s required in the tourism industry, from construction to ICT and hospitality, and that report then informs how we need to cater to those individuals to enable them to be empowered to get reemployed,” he advised.

The consultants have completed their needs assessment survey and are now working on a first draft which will give them more insights as to where the gaps are and where they need to focus, he said.

Mr Julien, who was the project manager for the RESEMBID 2 project and served as project officer for the RESEMBID 1 project, advised that the UCCI used a lot of the Economics and Statistics Office’s base data from previous needs assessment surveys.

“Unlike the ESO, however, which looks at the entire population and had several questions that it was trying to address, we have narrowed our focus to look at what are the emerging occupations and employment needs of the future,” Mr Julien advised.

He said they were looking at the current skill level of Caymanians and their ability to secure jobs and how the university, the business community (Chamber of Commerce) and the government institution responsible for the labour force (WORC) create a framework for training Caymanians for future jobs to ensure future opportunities were not missed.

Mr Julien said: “It serves as a data base for the government to know where the skilled persons who have been trained can be taken from. For example, WORC will be able to determine suitably trained Caymanians,” he advised. “Additionally, us here at UCCI will be able to tailor programmes and certifications courses to suit the gaps that the report reveals. We will be able to retrofit our programmes here to ensure that the technical and vocational programmes at the university have been updated and, when people complete their certification, they will be filling a need and a gap that has been created.”

Data was the key to success and Mr McGill said the results from the survey would provide the research and data needed to guide their decisions.

“It is only right we should have more success in filing those gaps and ensuring that people meet the needs of their specific communities and of the government,” he said.

Mr Julien said the assessment had been developed with the help of the government’s scholarship department. They were finding that a lot of scholarship students ended up staying abroad and not returning which, he said, did not put Cayman at a strategic advantage.

“We are trying to figure out what are the actual opportunities that our young people are aspiring towards and what are they asking to train in and are those jobs readily available here,” he stated. “That’s one of the questions we hope to have answered by the labour market assessment so we can move resources in that direction to support that need.”

Another question they hope to be answered was what people’s perception was of the UCCI.

“That is important because there may be places where we need to learn from and make changes as we focus our attention on three critical customer bases: the students; government and business,” he stated.

Mr Julien said the UCCI would be considering how they repackage strategically so they could meet the needs of the population so they don’t leave and take other options when the UCCI was on island, able and willing to provide them.

Upcoming events include a business breakfast scheduled for 16th June when it is envisaged the consultant will provide a draft to be shared with the various partners so they can digest the initial feedback and make changes.

Graduation of students take place on 19th August.


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