Cayman Finance recently celebrated the culmination of the fifth year of its Student Education and Work Experience Programme that saw more than 40 students in 2019 benefit from workshops, mentorship, and work placements designed to give them greater insights into the Cayman Islands financial services industry.
The Year 12 students from high schools across the island, as well as from the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) Dual Enrolment Programme, participated in eight weeks of workshops focusing on different aspects of the financial services industry, weekly sessions with mentors working in the field, and four weeks of work experience at Cayman Finance member organisations.
“We have focused the programme on creating pathways for young, talented Caymanians into the industry,” said Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott. “Our aim is to ensure our local students have their eyes opened to the opportunities that await them in the industry that plays an important role globally and is the main driver of the Cayman Islands economy.”
The programme is a public-private partnership between Cayman Finance; The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands; and the Ministry of Financial Services and Home Affairs. Over the past five years, approximately 300 students have benefited from the programme.
“There is a notable synergy between the Cayman Finance Student Education and Work Experience Programme and the Ministry of Education’s scholarship programme which currently funds over five hundred students pursuing tertiary studies overseas. In today’s global village, it is safe to conclude that real-world experience is equally important as an excellent academic education. This programme fulfils the Ministry’s goal to facilitate exposure to opportunities that exist within the financial services industry, with a greater vision to unearth real career paths most suited for students who aspire to significantly contribute to our local economy,” said Minister of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.
“I am absolutely impressed with the willingness of all the accomplished financial services professionals involved. Notably, those who have recently called our Cayman Islands their home and whom have ultimately helped to lay the building blocks for our next generation of world-class, financial services professionals,” she added.
Minister of Financial Services and Home Affairs, Hon. Tara Rivers said: “This is not just a way for our young people to get theoretical, but also, practical experience in an industry that is so vitally important to our economy. It is important that we continue to provide the platform that allows young Caymanians to have the opportunity to be part of our success story.”
The financial services industry is the key driver of the Cayman Islands economy, contributing more than 50 percent to GDP and more than half of government revenue, which helps government fund initiatives, including national infrastructure, healthcare, education and scholarships. The financial services industry also provides employment for over 4,000 Caymanians, some of whom were volunteers in the programme and imparted their knowledge to the students not only through the workshops and one-on-one mentorship sessions but through hands-on experience in the workplace during July and August.
Mr Scott thanked member of the Cayman Finance Public Awareness Committee for overseeing the programme, and Cayman Finance member firms who participated by having their professionals volunteer their time to either facilitate workshops or to serve as mentors, as well as providing the opportunity for students to benefit from experience in the workplace.
Each student who completed the workshops, mentoring and four-week work placement received a US$1,000 stipend in addition to certificates of completion. Additionally. three students were randomly selected at the celebratory event at the end of the programme to win prizes including a laptop and an iPad that will benefit them with their further education.