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Over the Next Year, Caymanians Can Look Forward to 76% of Companies Hiring in Semi-Skilled Roles

Education 27 Jul, 2023 Follow News

Over the Next Year, Caymanians Can Look Forward to 76% of Companies Hiring in Semi-Skilled Roles

This month, the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI), hosted a fully subscribed Business Breakfast and Labour Market Assessment Forum to uncover the findings from the Island’s largest workforce survey that took place in late 2022 with almost 600 respondents.

The study took place as part of the RESEMBID project - Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development Training for the UCCI - which was launched in July 2022. UCCI received a grant of €432,000 (CI$405,000) from the European Union (EU) RESEMBID Programme to engage 55 unemployed and underemployed Caymanians in a year-long training programme in sustainable trades. This was so successful that it was also rolled out in Cayman Brac as well.

Developed in collaboration with WORC and the Chamber of Commerce; this was one of the biggest studies of its kind into workforce needs within the Cayman Islands and revealed some groundbreaking findings.

Key findings were as followed:

• There is a current misalignment between the demand and supply of skills in the Cayman Islands, with jobs of interest not aligned to the future jobs in demand except in the case of accounts and finance.

• Out of the industries surveyed, firms in solar photovoltaic and ICT reported being the largest employers of Cayman nationals currently.

• Top job positions currently employed across all sectors were accounts and finance (36%), operations managers (35%) and receptionists (25%).

• Of the 123 firms surveyed, 76% said they would be actively hiring within the next 12 months showing a clear expectation of future job growth.

• When asked how many employees they plan on hiring in this time frame, the largest employers for job growth were accommodation and food services; information and communication; financial and insurance; professional, scientific and technical; as well as electricity fuel and air conditioning. These align closely with the sectors within the RESEMBID training programme.

• When asked how many of these would be skilled workers, 41% of these will be highly skilled vacancies, 47% semi-skilled and 12% unskilled.

• Firms also expected to see a shift in their workforce from highly skilled professionals in the main to semi-skilled. Of the 1257 employees within the 123 companies surveyed, 61% were currently highly skilled. The firms expected to recruit only 41% highly skilled employees in the future, seeing a shift in needed skills.

• The impact of new technology was driving many concerns amongst employers, specifically in the scientific and ICT sectors.

• High demand future jobs for the Cayman Islands were listed as accounts and finance (18%), digital marketing (15%), professional and technical (15%), operations management, (13%) and carpenters (12%).

• Of the underemployed Caymanians surveyed, the highest percentage currently worked in customer services (18%).

• The main reasons given for them currently being underemployed was that they were not qualified for available jobs (32%).

The study was funded to provide insight and direct policy makers and key stakeholder groups on future job supply and demand in the Cayman Islands. Two study populations were surveyed: 123 employers across all industry groups including the four industries for RESEMBID – construction, hotels and tourism, ICT and solar photovoltaic (renewable energy). The second population group was 435 underemployed and unemployed Caymanian nationals between the ages of 18 and 45.

The industry focused event saw special guest speakers including the Honourable Dwayne Seymour, MP Minister for Border Control and Labour, Mr. Andrea Floudiotis, RESEMBID Programme Manager, Marine Biodiversity, and keynote presentation by Kishka Anderson from Market Research Limited into the findings from the Labour Market Assessment Report.

Matthew McGill, Project Officer for UCCI’s RESEMBID project, commented: “It is important for the Cayman Islands to understand its workforce so that we can best prepare community members for future skills and so that we can plug the skills gap between employers and employees. Some key pieces of information came out of this study, not least that there is a current misalignment between job vacancies and future skills needs and the qualification level of unemployed Caymanians. Unless training is put in place to upskill Caymanians in these key areas, the Cayman Islands will have to continue to rely upon permit holders to plug the gaps.”

Dr Robert W. Robertson, President, and CEO of UCCI, stated: “This study is a crucial piece of information for the Cayman Islands as it shows where funding and training needs to be directed to plug not just the skills gap but also the employment gap in the Cayman Islands. The findings give us a roadmap that we can utilize to ensure that we can deliver the skills and qualifications that the Cayman Islands needs for the future advancement of Caymanians.”

RESEMBID is a 47-project progamme funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France – the development cooperation agency of the Government of France and supports sustainable human development efforts in 12 Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) – Aruba, Anguilla, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Montserrat, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Barthélémy, Sint Maarten and Turks and Caicos.


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