(CNS Business): Seven young Caymanians recently earned a certification in wines and spirits, which could lead to careers in the hospitality industry. The Level 2 certification course, which included 24 hours of class time and 36 hours of practical internship, was the result of a partnership between the National Work Force Development Agency (NWDA) and WineSchool3. Celebrated at the graduation ceremony were Leonardo Borsetto, Shirley Bodden, Dovina Minzett, Samuel Taffee-Ebanks, Candice Ebanks, Teisha Bush and Arianna Wheeler-Seijas.
The event was organised by the Ministry of Employment, along with the NWDA, WineSchool3, Jacques Scott and the Kimpton Seafire Resort, where the ceremony was held.
In addition to honouring the graduates, the evening brought together several tourism industry partners who were encouraged to work with the NWDA to develop and offer apprenticeship and internship opportunities.
Simon Crompton of Jacques Scott, Jarrett Nicholson of Cayman Islands Brewery, Kimpton Seafire sommelier Andrew Bradbury and international guest Arturo Savage of Diageo, all spoke at the ceremony.
Nicholson, who grew up in Cayman, talked about the importance of having Caymanians in the industry and allowing visitors to the island to hear from the locals. “Visitors who come to our island want to know what it was like growing here, what we did and what Cayman is really like,” he said.
“It’s wonderful having so many nationalities working in our tourism industry because it allows locals to meet and work with such a diverse group but it is also important for Caymanians to be there too.”
Christen Suckoo, chief officer in the ministry, congratulated the graduates and presented their certificates. He emphasised the ministry’s commitment to supporting young Caymanians in this type of education and underscored the importance of having programmes that are not only recognised in the local tourism sector but globally in the industry.
Although unable to be at the event because she was in Cabinet, Employment Minister Tara Rivers added her congratulations. “This is a momentous achievement, I hope that you will not only utilise the skill and knowledge you have obtained through this training to progress within the hospitality industry but to also be an inspiration to those around you to encourage them to enter the industry and take up these training and development opportunities.”