Published 8th February 2018, 10:3am
Public Works Department’s “world-class” apprenticeship training programme has been chosen by the Cayman Islands Society of Human Resource Professionals (CISHRP) as the ‘Best Training Programme’ in the Cayman Islands for 2017.
The Department earned the prestigious award at the society’s 8th Annual Top Employer and 3rd annual CISHRP Awards for Human Resources Excellence (CAHRE).
Director Mr. Max Jones, Programme Manager Levi Allen, other section managers and staff members who are mentors received the award on behalf of the department at the society’s awards presentation programme on Saturday, 3 February 2018 at the Marriott Grand Cayman Beach Resort.
According to the society, the top employer awards are open to any private, public and non-profit organisation in the Cayman Islands wishing to be recognised as a leading business on-island. The society also created the annual CAHRE Awards to provide a platform for private or public sector organisations of any size who demonstrate best HR practices, directly showing how effective HR can contribute to the organisations’ success.
“It is also a chance to showcase the remarkable work of our HR professionals on the island, demonstrating best practice in improving the quality of work and employee engagement,” according to a society release.
Congratulating PWD on its latest accomplishment, Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson said, “I am so very proud of the entire PWD team who achieved this tremendous result and I commend them all on their amazing apprenticeship initiative”.
“The apprenticeship programme aligns well with the vision of our five year strategic plan which is ‘To be a world Class Civil Service’. For us to be a World Class Civil Service, we must first be the best at home. PWD’s award helps to make this a reality.”
Minister for Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, Hon. Joey Hew commented, “My congratulations to the Director and the entire Public Works Team on this well-deserved award. The PWD apprenticeship program is a wonderful initiative which aligns so well with government’s commitment to education and the development of the young people in the Cayman Islands.”
Minister Hew added, “The programme is providing young Caymanians, not only with internationally recognised vocational certifications but also with the means to earn a good living throughout their lifetimes in one of our key industries, the construction industry.
“The programme has now grown to 15 apprentices and will further expand in September 2018. I will continue to champion this project, ensuring that it gets the necessary resources to support this continued growth.”
Ministry Chief Officer, Mr. Alan Jones commented, “I take my hat off to the entire team at PWD on this achievement. The pilot apprenticeship project was kicked off by PWD in 2016/17 with no additional funding from government and resulted in five young Caymanians receiving internationally recognised City and Guilds (C&G) vocational certifications.
“PWD set out to demonstrate that they could produce results before requesting government funding and the pilot programme did just that, showing that PWD is the most suited to be a centre of excellence for construction vocational training.
The Chief Officer continued, “This is a great example of innovation in the service. I am so proud of all of the PWD employees who have worked so hard to deliver these outstanding results.”
Programme Manager Levi Allen explained, “PWD now offers a structured multi-tiered programme to provide young Caymanians the opportunity to gain internationally recognised C&G vocational qualifications in construction trades and construction supervision.”
“Areas covered included Plumbing, Electrical Installation, Air-conditioning, Carpentry and general Building Maintenance. The 2016/2017 pilot programme has already resulted in five apprentices being awarded C&G certifications at either foundation or proficiency levels”, he added.
“Before this apprenticeship programme, Caymanians could not become certified locally in general construction vocational trades,” explained Director Max Jones. “The dual aims of the programme are to provide a structured environment for Caymanians to gain notable international certifications and to provide private sector contractors and PWD with much needed certified construction technicians and supervisors who can meet local construction industry needs,” he added.
As an integral part of the apprenticeship programme so far, 19 local mentors, including four from major local contractors, have also received C&G training to cement their mentoring role.
Now enrolled in the expanded 2017/2018 programme are 15 apprentices in C&G level 1 and 2 courses projected for completion during the fourth quarter of 2018. It is intended that upon the successful completion of this cohort, the programme will expand to up to 30 apprentices enrolled across levels 1, 2 and 3 C&G courses.
Also within, two years, PWD will seek accreditation as a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centre for construction trades. Following that, in addition to training apprentices, PWD will also be able to assess apprentices, right here in the Cayman Islands for C&G certification purposes.
“This is truly a national programme since it impacts not just PWD but the local construction industry and the entire Cayman Islands,” Director Jones emphasised.
Public Works Department Director, Mr. Max Jones (fourth from left) receives the CAHRE Award on behalf of his colleagues present for running the ‘Best Training Programme’ in the Cayman Islands in 2017, presented annually by the Cayman Islands Society of Human Resource Professionals. See here (l-r) are: PWD Programme Manager Levi Allen), PWD Mentor Ian Gayle, Award sponsor and Managing Director Cayman First Gordon Phillips, PWD Director Max Jones, PWD HR Manager Francene Roach, PWD Mentor Pedro Triana, Director of Education Services Lyneth Monteith, PWD Mentor Thomas Ebanks, PWD Senior Manager for Operations and Works David Johnson and PWD Mentor Allen Scott.