Would you like to earn school credit for a morning spent out on a dive?
A new vocational programme conceived right here in Cayman can help you do just that.
The CIFEC-pioneered programme, in conjunction with Red Sail Sports and Go Pro, is a formalisation of the work experience process, with students gaining a BTEC at the end of their placements, along with the diving qualifications they pick up en route.
And they have big dreams for after that.
Andrew Beuachene is a CIFEC student, with one such ambition:
“What I really like is that I gain experience because I want to start my own charter company,” he said, explaining: “it helps me being able to interact with guests and once you can relate to them, they’ll keep coming back.”
This scheme will give Andrew the skills he will need to realise his goal. But his colleague Jahiem Brown knows you need to master the basics of the job first.
“I set up their kit, when they finish the dive, I go back to the boat take their fins, guide them back to their seat,” he detailed.
The partner companies say it is an opportunity to give back to the community.
For Dive Supervisor, Clive Webb, it is also about getting Caymanians diving.
“Getting some locals out diving is like: look at this. This is what you’ve got, this is your country, your waters, this is what’s there,” he said passionately.
And there are also benefits for the companies’ clients too, as Tortuga Divers’ James Dudley has seen firsthand.
“They appreciate, really like the interaction that Andrew has with them on the dive boats. That’s clearly seen,” Mr. Dudley stated.
He added: “what’s also nice is that Andrew has something to offer our guests here at Tortuga Divers: they’re asking him about local events and local things going on.”
On-the-job skills and a formal qualification are the main incentives of the programme, but when your classroom looks as good as the crystal-clear waters off East End, Mr. Beuachene summed it up best:
“It’s peaceful and it’s better than being in school”.
The BTEC award is an internationally-recognized qualification. The CIFEC students here will earn theirs in”skills and activities for active leisure”.