Careers fair draws hundreds of students

| 07/12/2016
CNS Local Life

Videography intern Devarro Whittaker (left) discusses Cayman Islands Television with students

(CNS Local Life): More than 500 students visited the recent second annual Cayman Academy careers fair, held at the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI). Among the displays at the fair, at which 35 public and private entities exhibited, were robotics, drones, test tubes illustrating medical blood work, drug-sniffing dogs, and weather information-gathering tools.

Cayman Academy opened the fair to all Grand Cayman’s secondary schools, public and private. In addition to the 150 academy students who attended, about 265 young people came from John Gray and Clifton Hunter high schools. Other students visited throughout the day from Grace Christian Academy, Wesleyan Holiness and UCCI.

Minister for Education Tara Rivers, who toured the fair, said the opportunity enabled students to “connect with employers from industries they may not have previously considered”.

Pastor Shian O’Connor, president of the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and chairman of the board of Cayman Academy, said “the involvement of the nation’s major high schools and universities [had] significantly enriched the experience”, adding the school will be making the fair an annual event.

Among the private sector agencies participating were Cayman Enterprise City, Cayman Finance, Health City Cayman Islands, Cayman Contractors Association, law firm TMC Chambers and Cayman Islands Television (the broadcast arm of the Adventists). In addition to UCCI, educational institutions that took part were the University of the West Indies and Northern Caribbean University.

The fair also featured representatives from such government agencies as the Departments of Environmental Health, Agriculture, Lands and Survey, Planning, Tourism, Children and Family Services, and Immigration; the National Workforce Development Agency; National Weather Service; the Family Resource Centre; the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and the Cayman Islands Fire Service.

Cayman Academy principal O’Niel Duncan described the fair as a public service by the school to meet an important need. “The harsh reality is that a significant number of high-schoolers do (not) make the right career choices in school and are not prepared for life after graduation,” he said.

Duncan added that industry representatives at the fair offered evidence-based career guidance, information, and vocational assessment, all geared towards ensuring that students were ready for the world of work.

“We want the next generation to be more creative in bridging” the divide between classroom instruction and developing and applying talents, he said, adding that he hoped that the fair would help to bring greater clarity to those decisions.

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Category: Education, High School

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