Unemployed youth find work after government course

| 26/07/2010

(CNS): Following the completion of the government’s first “Passport2Success” programme ten of the twenty two students have now found work with a number of local employers. The initiative is a partnership between the Ministry of Education and the Wellness Centre and is designed to help young Caymanians become more attractive to local employers and equip them with workplace skills.  After the success of the first eleven week course government says it will now be running the programme four times a year. Students will be selected from across the community who show a commitment to improving their professional skills.

 
“We are pleased and proud of our 22 graduates in this pioneer class,” said Education Minister Anglin on 2 July the day of the graduation. “They did terrific work, demonstrated the value of hard work and team effort, and have pointed the way to the future success of the Passport programme.”
 
The first class started on 12 April at the International College of the Cayman Islands, the course provided job training, work experience, exposure to real-time employers, career guidance and a modest monthly stipend.
 
Mary Rodrigues, Chief Officer in the Ministry described the initiative as innovative and exciting, offering future students a range of attractive opportunities. “It is an efficient way to address several challenges at the same time, and provides aspiring young Caymanians a chance to compete in a professional environment,” she added.
 
Shannon Seymour Director of the Wellness centre who along with Lynne Banker, the instructor, designed the course said they were “overwhelmed by the students’ eager embrace of the opportunity to improve their own skills and knowledge,” and pointed out thatthey were blazing a path for those to come.
 
Seymour said that three of the graduates had found work with Butterfield, two with LIME another while the Water Authority, Fabrizone Cleaning Systems, Kirk Freeport, Phoenix Construction and Cayman Business Machines had also each offered a position to a graduating student. Two more students have also interviewed for positions since graduating and remained hopeful.
 
Michelle Johnson, winner of the programme’s Most Improved Overall award spoke about what she had learned. “In Passport2Success I learned that to change myself I first had to know what I wanted to accomplish in life,” she said. “Growing up, I had few struggles, no bills to pay and no stress. My attitude was that I didn’t care because I already knew it all. When I was accepted for the programme, I had a chance to make a change for myself — and for other young Caymanians. Now I have realised that everything is up to me, and that if I don’t put in 100 percent, I have no one to blame but myself. My past does not define my future. I have to work for what I want.”
 
 To apply for a place on the next Passport2Success programmes applicants must fill in and submit a registration form. These are available at the Wellness Centre info@wellnesscentre.ky or call 949-9355 to request a form or visiting the programme website www.passport2success.ky
 
Passport2Success was sponsored by LIME, Butterfield, and CML Offshore Recruitment.
 
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Comments (4)

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  1. Caymanian at Heart says:

    This is a great program, so far all the young people I have met in the program are very driven, motivated and I am sure they will be successful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent initiative! There is a need for the young people on Cayman Brac to also receive this type of training. Any possibility of one of those sessions being done on Cayman Brac?

  2. Beachboi says:

    I found that what Ms. Johnson had to say was truly inspirational, and I found it refreshing to hear it coming from a young Caymanian.  Obviously this course is well worth the effort, but I have one question.

    Why is this concept not applied to and taken advange of in the high schools in Cayman???  Why wait until the students are "grasping for a life" after graduation??  This course cost money and any  savings by having it implemented in the schools would certainly benefit us all.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It works! Time to offer it to more applicants.