Over a half a million dollars is in the bag for the Public Works Department’s (PWD) expansion of its construction apprenticeship programme. Those at the department said the expansion not only brings with it a bigger building but more skilled Caymanian workers. Since starting in 2017 the apprenticeship programme recorded 100% success rates with small classes. Acting senior manager at Public Works Levi Allen said he wants that same success to continue.
“We were not able to address the needs of our youngsters, in the volume that we would like, or the volume that is necessitated by the industry. At present, our capacity is in the region of 15 students, but now with the expansion, we will be able to accommodate up to 50,” said Mr. Allen. The new expansion will also see minor enhancements to the existing public works building along with seating areas for students to study. Public Works facilitator Eric Green said plans include areas were students can show-off their skills.
“So the new training facility is going to be on the second floor, the design will cover two classrooms, however, there will be an underpass under that structure. Trainees can actually demonstrate skills and competencies for the public to actually pass and see what they’re doing. So we’re not hiding what we’re doing, we’re actually advertising the product because trade skills is something you should be proud of doing,” said Mr. Green.
Mr. Allen said government has approved around 3/4 of a million dollars for the expansion. That covers construction, the programme’s equipment and stipends for students. Construction is expected to begin within the next month. Mr. Allen said it should be completed by December this year.