(CNS Local Life): On the heels of recent criticism of its overseas recruitment drive, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) met with students at the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) who are interested in aviation careers. The meeting, held 11 March, was initiated by Leader of the Opposition Ezzard Miller, who in February called for an immediate local recruitment and training exercise, as he expressed “deep concern” that so many overseas air traffic controllers are being recruited.
Lorna Blackman coordinated the meeting and is UCCI’s programme facilitator for Year 12 students at the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC), who are also attending classes at UCCI. Commonly referred to as “dual enrolment”, options available at UCCI for public school students aim to “significantly ensure a greater chance of success and transition into college life”, according to authorities, stated a press release.
CIFEC students admitted into the UCCI programme would have already gained a number of passes in external examinations, while the CIFEC option enables them to add to their complement of subjects passed, especially in the compulsory mathematics and English.
Following a video presentation on the responsibilities and daily routines of air traffic control (ATC) officers, Robert Boggess, ATC supervisor, spoke with the students about his career path and duties, from a work-experience opportunity while he was still in high school, through internship and training, to his current role.
At the end of the meeting some of the students signed up for a tour of the CIAA Air Traffic Control Tower and took home further information and application forms.
“I was happy to see that as many as ten students indicated an interest in aviation careers, from aviation mechanics to air traffic controllers to pilots,” Miller said, adding, “I will be following up with them to see how they get along.”
Speaking at the meeting, Mario Ebanks, CIAA chief HR officer, said that while his team was “not hiring today, we can start the process today”. He added that once he received the application forms, they could “start the ball rolling” towards recruitment of suitable candidates.