(CMR) The Construction Trades Training Centre at the Public Works Department on North Sound Road was officially opened recently.
The two-story training facility, which comprises classrooms and an area for practical training, will accommodate the various programs offered by the Public Works Department (PWD), including the part-time and full-time apprenticeship programs, full-time internship programs as well as a partnership program with the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre.
Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure Joey Hew said the PWD had taken on the responsibility to promote the careers of young Caymanians, not only through mentorship of interns in high schools but by technical training, which will lead to internationally recognized certifications.
“The apprenticeship program which has grown over the past three years will create a medium through which young Caymanians students can develop skills in a variety of technical and vocational areas important to nation-building,” he said.
Minister Hew further noted that, “With the scarcity of locally qualified job applicants to perform some specialized roles, it is important that we develop our workforce and empower young Caymanians to take their place in society. Given the economic climate and the importance of the development and construction sector to the Islands economy, the opening of the facility is quite timely.
Acting Director at the Public Works Department, Troy Whorms, expressed gratitude to the instructors and mentors from the Facilities section of PWD and members of the private sector who contributed to the training of development of the apprentices.
He also commended several persons and organizations that contributed to the new building, including the project management team at PWD, AMR Consulting Engineers, and Corporate Electric Limited.
“I started my career in the civil service at the Public Works Department as a summer intern, and I am now leading the Department that got me to this point in my career. This is a testament of what is possible with PWD’s training programs, and I look forward to supporting the next generation through training and development offered by the Department,” Whorms said.
Several past and current apprentices attending the event were presented with certificates and special awards.
PWD graduate and apprentice for the year 2017-2018, Zeb Bush said the apprenticeship program was very beneficial to him as he received hands-on experience and was able to put into practice what he learned in the classroom.
“Not only is the program locally accredited, but it is also internationally recognized as well. Upon completing the program, I was immediately employed by firm Arch and Godfrey, where I got the opportunity to work with seasoned construction managers and civil engineers”, he emphasized.