Senior Customs Officer returns from two-week course

ST. KITTS, APRIL 6TH 2010 (CUOPM) – A senior Customs Officer from St. Kitts and Nevis was among Caribbean counterparts who attended a regional training programme in strategy, organized by the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council.

Mr. Tavo Sargeant was among sixteen middle managers of the Cayman Islands Customs Department participated in the pilot training initiative.

“While we provide training to ensure that our staff remains on the cutting edge,” said Customs Training Manager Langlie Powery, “this type of training, which we had been trying to get for many years, was lacking. The course concentrated on strategic analysis, giving the officers the first detailed and structured grasp of the subject with practical applications.

“It will help close the gap between the top and lower managers in the department.”

The two weeks of training included assistant collectors (supervisors) and senior officers (frontline managers), who received a thorough grounding in improving their fundamental management skills.

Revenue and Customs International Relations Manager Andy Argyle and Barbados Customs’ Administration Officer Owen Holder conducted the course, which attracted the senior officer from St. Kitts and Nevis Customs.

“Cayman volunteering to host this pilot event enabled a large number of our senior officers to take full advantage of the training,” said Collector of Customs Carlon Powery, who added that middle managers learnt the importance of incorporating strategy into their work.

Mr. Argyle explained that the course is available to customs officers of CCLEC member countries who want to raise their strategic awareness. “The course had a high calibre of students,” he said, and lauded the quality of team work that went into practising the lessons learnt.

As part of the course, the managers worked in groups on a strategic plan for Cayman Customs, with the groups making and defending their presentations before higher management during the closing ceremony. Following that, they received certificates from Senior Assistant Financial Secretary Anne Owens.

The Collector said efforts are also underway to develop courses in advanced management in conjunction with CCLEC through institutions such as the University of West Indies (UWI).

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