Boss says businesses need to hire local youth

| 04/10/2010

(CNS): With unemployment reaching around ten percent among Caymanians one local business owners says he is doing what he can to recruit, train and pay local people a fair wage. Matthew Leslie the owner of Titan Security says local businesses are not giving Caymanians a fair enough chance and they need to create more opportunity for the country’s unemployed youngsters. At his company most of his 40 plus workers are Caymanians but with so many school leavers skipping higher education the job market is flooded. He receives hundreds of applications every week he said and is doing his best to give as many of them, as he can, a job.

 
He says with the right training and support employers can find the staff they need right here in Cayman and he is trying to set an example of how local bosses can recruit, train and employ locals instead of resorting to recruiting overseas.
 
“Our staff has a high percentage of employees between the ages of 18 and 35, but as a young Caymanian myself, how can I turn away a Caymanian coming in for a job that has a family to feed and needs a roof over their head?” he asked rhetorically. Leslie admits that he has gone well over his staff budget by hiring part timers for his office just to give people a chance at work. What Leslie aims to do when he takes on extra staff is encourage those working part time to look for other work or get into school and says if nothing else he tries to be a stepping stone for them.
 
As a people oriented business Leslie says Titan’s focus is not just on hiring but the training of the young people he takes on as some have little or no job experience. Within the next few weeks he said the company plans to undertake a major CPR/First Aid/ and AED course for all staff.  Training in Self Defence, Club Procedures, Management Skills, Conflict Resolution, Observation and Report Writing, Diversity Appreciation, Cayman Islands Law, and many other courses are provided for new staff. Although costly he hopes the employees will utilize the knowledge they gain during training.  
 
Aware that the industry has a reputation for paying very law salaries sometimes as little as $3.50 an hour not to mention questionable issues about people being asked to pay their own permits, Leslie says he is trying hard to fight against that reputation in the sector by paying a living wage (he believe he is one of the highest paying bosses in the business) and hiring locals as oppose to work permit holders, making sure they are well trained and ensuring the guards are not forced to work double shifts.
 
Despite the challenges of training inexperienced young local staff he says most just need the right training and guidance to turn them in to A-plus employees.
 
Admitting that the island would always need overseas workers Leslie said that the security industry could still change the view of young Caymanian workers by hiring them and giving them a proper chance. He said not enough young people are being given opportunities to secure jobs locally and he said without work many of them could give up and easily spiral into a life of crime.
 
 “As a business community, we can either help fix the problem or create a bigger economic mess. We will pay the price for it in the long run if we do not help provide jobs for our young people. If you are using the excuse that these young people do not have enough training well spend the money providing proper apprenticeship and training for them and you will end up saving more in the long run,” Leslie said.
 
Leslie said he was grateful to the businesses contracted with Titan Security because it was those businesses that helped him to keep employing Caymanians. Pushing his employment opportunity by word of mouth and Facebook, Leslie said he was confident that the company will see well over 100 staff within the next 12 months. He said he hoped to keep taking on young people training them, giving them a good salary and putting them in a job that is not only rewarding but fun at times too.
 
 “My guards love working the special events that we are contracted yearly to do. From Mardi Gras to Million Dollar Run and many others, we have become the company most Special Events come to for providing Security. Companies out there who support Titan Security are also supporting young Caymanians in the work force and that is a great thing to achieve,” Leslie added.
 
In an industry facing a number of challenges Leslie said he supported the security laws but had concerns that it would take time to get these new regulations right. However he explained the industry could do more to help itself and said he would like to see the formation of a Security Company Association to help regulate the industry and looked forward to the companies working together more. 
 
Having started with one single contract at Uncle Bill’s, Leslie’s oldest client he now protects over $140 million in local business assets. And while he admits his company like many others is not perfect he does his best to stay on top of the challenges of running a successful business and most important of all, in a an economic down turn, to create real jobs.
 
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Category: Business

Comments (4)

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  1. noname says:

    This is really great to hear.  Also I think Matthew is one of the leaders of the YUDP so he is leading by example.  We need more businesses to think like this.

  2. Grateful says:

    I am a part employee of Titan Security and I am Caymanian.  This article was right on spot with how Mr. Leslie runs his company.  He hired me and on the second day told me I am better than a Security Officer and he encouraged me to work hard with his company and he would help me secure a better job.  I worked there for 4 months and he came to me and said " I GOT TO FIRE YOU BUT ONLY BECAUSE I GOT YOU A BETTER JOB".  CNS you are so right with saying it was a Stepping Stone. 

  3. noname says:

    It’s about time a business that is making tons of money like this one is looking out for our own. 

  4. Cayman Born says:

    Good Job Mr. Leslie!!