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Cayman Islands Government

Filling the Gap

Island Heritage Chief Operating Officer Hugo Cardona (centre) signs on the dotted line as University College of the Cayman Islands President Roy Bodden (left) and Dean Brian Chapell look on.

Island Heritage and The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman formalised education-exchange partnerships with the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) earlier this week.

Each company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which offered guest lectures and student internships. The Ritz Carlton agreement also included the added dimension of unpaid internships for UCCI lecturers.

Commenting on the faculty internship aspect, Chair for the UCCI Career, Technical Education and Outreach Department Deborah Chambers noted, "So often our faculty have the theoretical knowledge but don't get a chance to top-up on the practical.

"This partnership offers them the opportunity to go in and work with experts, then bring their knowledge back to the classroom."

The programmes, which are scheduled to commence during UCCI's 2010 fall semester, were developed after both companies noted a significant lack of qualified Caymanians within their respective industries. It is hoped that the UCCI partnership will be the necessary catalyst to initiate change.

Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman Vice President and General Manager Franz Ferschke (left), and University College of the Cayman Islands President Roy Bodden seal the deal with a handshake.

"We want to support the college in developing its insurance elective, while simultaneously exposing students to opportunities available in the industry," Island Heritage Chief Operating Officer Hugo Cardona explained.

"Every day at The Ritz Carlton is different and there are tremendous growth opportunities for our staff," said Vice President and General Manager Franz Ferschke.

"We need to reach out to young Caymanians and groom them to become the future leaders of our company."

Thanking both organisations for their commitment to the college, UCCI President Roy Bodden commented, "We recognise that this is a tremendous opportunity for both our staff and students and we thank you for approaching us.

"This will afford us the opportunity to move to a greater level of instruction and help our students link the theories they learn in the classroom with the practical aspects of the industries they are studying."

(GIS)

For further information contact: Kenisha Morgan