Back to work programme adapted for new groups

| 23/11/2011

singlemom_0.gif(CNS): Unemployed single mothers and young men over the age of 21 are the next two categories of people struggling to find work that government hopes to help with its Passport2Success programme. So far the back to work initiative has focused on school leavers but now people for these demographics will also get an opportunity to tackle barriers that have prevented them from work next, officials said when the two new programmes launch next year. Only twenty spaces are available for each of the newly adapted programmes which the employment Minister said addresses employment problems in a holistic way and can make a difference. 

“This programme is achieving its goal of transforming struggling young people aged 17-20 years into mature, work-ready citizens, and we are confident that it can also make a difference for other vulnerable groups,” Rolston Anglin said about the initiative launched in April 2010.

The minister said focus groups have been held with single mothers and men over 21 by the strategic partner in the programme, the Wellness Centre, to better understand their unique experiences of unemployment. Based on the information gathered some changes will be made to the curriculum.

“This consultation process was critical. I am convinced that the key to the success of Passport2Success is the fact that it responds to real life issues and needs of the participants, whatever they might be,” Anglin added.

Wellness Centre Director Shannon Seymour explained that both programmes will include the development of communication and negotiation skills. Core elements will include résumé writing, an overview of the Labour Law and employment contracts, and sessions covering workplace expectations and practices.

Identified deficits in budgeting and finance skills, customer service skills, deportment and self-confidence will be addressed. Group and individual counselling and detailed assessments will also be important features of the programme.

To start, successful applicants will participate in a three-week in-class orientation that includes site visits and guest speakers. Following that, a 16-week combination of in-class work and internship will add to participants’ skill base. Week 20 will close the programme with the sharing and processing of experiences as well as a graduation exercise.

Programme Facilitator Dr Tasha Ebanks-Garcia said the focus will be skill acquisition as opposed to work experience.

“We want our graduates to walk away with a tangible skill. Through an apprenticeship-focused internship, participants will have the opportunity to learn skills that will increase their marketability and employability. The benefit for employers is that skilled Caymanians will be available at the end of the programme,” she said.
The organisers are seeking the support of local businesses for the provision of unpaid internships. Interested organisations may contact Shannon Seymour on 949-9355 or email

Passport2Success is a free programme provided by the Ministry of Education, Training and Education, with the support of private sector sponsors Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Ltd., CML Offshore Recruitment, and LIME Communications. Transportation for the programme is provided by Webster’s Tours Ltd and forms are available online at the application deadline is 30 November.

Category: Local News

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I would like Minister Anglin to publish how much money is being paid by government to the private company facilitating the Passport2sucess program.

    While I think that the overall program can benefit school leavers, single mothers and men I'm sure this program can be taught by the various departments who hold the same background experience and degrees.

    I debate the stats given on the success rate of past passport2sucess programs. I know several persons who attended the program and while they did get a "summer" job, summer is over.If they did a survey of all the individuals who have attended the past courses and compared them with persons still employed we would probably get a lower level of success rate.