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Christian Esser (WineSchool3); Christen Suckoo(Chief Officer, MEEGA), Graduates: Samuel Taffee-Ebanks, Shirley Bodden, Leonardo Borsetto, Dovina Minzett, Candice Ebanks and Teisha Bush; Dianne Conolly (NWDA- Training Manager); Shalico Christian(WineSchool3). Missing from the picture is graduate Arianna Wheeler-Seijas.

Published 6th April 2017, 12:3pm

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – A partnership between the National Work Force Development Agency (NWDA) and WineSchool3 turned out to be the difference between drifting through life without a purpose and finding a career about which to be passionate. Those were the sentiments of young Leonardo Borsetto at the recent graduation celebration for he and six other young Caymanians from the WineSchool3 Level 2 certification in Wines and Spirits. The certification included 24 hours of class time as well as 36 hours of practical internship experience.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs along with the NWDA, WineSchool3, Jacques Scott and the Kimpton Seafire Beach Resort where the ceremony was held. In addition to honouring the graduates, the evening brought together several tourism industry partners who were encouraged to partner with the NWDA to develop and offer apprenticeship and internship opportunities. There were also many stalwarts of the industry sharing their experiences in the trade and inspiring all in attendance. Industry partners

Simon Crompton of Jacques Scott, Jarrett Nicholson of Cayman Islands Brewery, Kimpton Seafire Sommelier Andrew Bradbury and international guest Arturo Savage, Whisky King, Reserve Portfolio Brand Ambassador at Diageo all had words of wisdom for the graduates

Nicholson, who grew up in Cayman spoke 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”, Nicholson 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 of Employment, 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, Hon. Tara Rivers added her congratulations to the graduates, “This is a momentous achievement, I hope that you will not only utilize the skill and knowledge you have obtain 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.”

In addition to Borsetto, the other graduates were Shirley Bodden, Dovina Minzett, Samuel Taffee-Ebanks, Candice Ebanks, Teisha Bush and Arianna Wheeler-Seijas.

For more information about the NWDA email nwda.training@gov.ky or call 945-3114.