Registered jobless exceeds 1000 people

| 15/02/2009

(CNS): The week long job drive by Department of Employment Relations culminated at the weekend when the job team appeared at the Chamber of Commerce Career, Education, Training and Job expo at the UCCI. By Friday afternoon, with one more open day to go, the DER reported that  well over a thousand people were now registered with them and in need of work. The DER noted that, for the Cayman Islands, this figure was a significant number of people out of work.

At the start of the drive the DER had 850 people registered, most of whom were looking for work. Now the figure is well over 1,000. The good news for jobseekers, however, is that the DER jobs bank currently has more than 1,200 vacancies with new positions being submitted every day.  

Jennifer Smith, the Deputy Director of the DER (above), said that during the week a significant number of people had registered with the team and the priority now was to get on with the job of matching job seekers with vacant positions.

“After a very successful week registering people who want to find work, next week we will be going through the list of jobseekers and trying to make matches for them. There is a lot to do, we have a lot of people wanting to find work,” Smith said. Positive about the week’s drive, she added that she and the job team had already been able to place some people immediately in work as they had come to the registration sessions fully prepared.

She went on to note that the jobless figure was now significant for Cayman and that the increase in those registering was likely to be related to the recession as a number of jobless had said they had lost their job due to cutbacks and some had been given notice that they would be getting laid off. Smith also said the figure may be higher since some people came by to collect forms but did not sign up to the job seekers’ register.

Given the growing unemployment situation, Smith said that the DER would be doing its very best to help those people who had come out and registered to find suitable work. She said there were a number of challenges, from transport to the level of pay, that people faced when it came to finding work but the DER was doing all it could tohelp.

She also noted that they would be scrutinizing the Work Permit Board agendas to make sure that those positions had been filed with the DER and to ensure no one was being overlooked. Smith also said there were a considerable number of school leavers who were registering, but she was encouraging them to do further study as that would greatly improve their chances of finding work.

“Even with an associates degree young people will find a lot more doors open to them, but further education is very important when it comes to getting work. And with a number of scholarships available our young people should take advantage of that and give themselves an advantage in what is a very competitive job market,” Smith said.

The DER joined a number of local firms, educational institutions, as well as government departments and agencies which were present at the Chamber Expo offering training, education, scholarships and career opportunities to the more than 600 young people that passed through the door on Friday.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I think some very good points are being made.  If Caymanians want to understand the problem, they need the ACTUAL statistics.  I have a feeling, but no proof, that a MAJORITY of these jobs are in construction, domestic helper, etc type profession and that Caymanians may not do those jobs because they simply don’t pay what is desired.  This is not a negative comment, just a fact from my experience.  I make that correlation as if you look at the immigration website, a GOOD majority of work permit holders are Jamaican, and typically (not always) these would be in construction or the like. http://www.immigration.gov.ky/portal/page?_pageid=1608,2525007&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

    So PLEASE before there is incitement make sure that ALL the facts are presented.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh come on, Ezzard I am pro-Caymanian as anyone but you know it is not that simple. It all depends on the skills and qualifications of the Caymanians unemployed versus the expatriates employed. There are also some jobs that Caymanians simply refuse to do and would prefer to be unemployed than do them, e.g. domestic helpers. 

    As for GDP growth you cannot look at Cayman in isolation and pretend this all the fault of the PPM Govt. as if Cayman is unaffected by global economic trends and in particular the health of the U.S. economy. 

    Build your political platform on real solutions to the problems instead of finger pointing and grandstanding.  Who knows, you may be taken seriously.   

  3. Anonymous says:

    It would be interesting to dig further in to these statistics;  How many of these registeredpeople are actively seeking employment? How many of them have criminal records? How many of them were unjustified recipients of the mass status grants? How many have been justifiably fired from a previous position? How many have been offered positions but refused to accept them? Without the answers to at least some of these questions, these statistics mean very little.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Unemployment has increased every year in Cayman for the past 3 years. So while there are some persons who have been laid off in recent months this current employment crisis is NOT primarily as a result of the recent global recession. Many hundreds of caymanians have been unemployed for years and a look at the DER list for the past few years will illustrate that.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Can someone from the DER release a categorical summary of the skill sets & experience of those 1000 people? Leaving this information out creates a great deal of hostility between those looking for work and those employed. In this case it becomes Caymanians vs. Expats as well!

    Additionally, maybe these 1000 people are not suitable for any of the 25K positions held by work permit holders. But if you indiscriminantly remove a  1000 permits from the workforce pool — companies will not be able to find the employees, it will cause hardships, and makes it less desirable to have a business in the Cayman Islands.

    ("Smith also said there were a considerable number of school leavers who were registering, but she was encouraging them to do further study as that would greatly improve their chances of finding work.

    “Even with an associates degree young people will find a lot more doors open to them, but further education is very important when it comes to getting work. And with a number of scholarships available our young people should take advantage of that and give themselves an advantage in what is a very competitive job market,” Smith said.")
     
     
    You are not going to make $100,000/year without higher level education — an associate degree is NOT enough! Some might say constant re-education and certification is required to show determination, motivation, and dedication. It also proves you care enough about yourself and provides preparation for the futures unknown’s — compare it to HURRICANE PREP! A skill desired one day maybe obsolete the next. Be prepared for life’s challenges.
  6. Ezzard Miller says:

    It is unfortunate that no real action will be taken by DER for those seeking work other than the usual “lip service” in redferring these job seelers to a few companies who will find the usual excuses of qualifications/ experience to not employ these caymanians.
    Here is what needs to happen.
    If there are 1000 caymanians out of work in cayman where there are 25,000 work permits we need to cancel the coresponding 1000 work permits. The PPM government continues to issue policies/directives to make it easier for foreigners to obtain work permits.
    In the current situation where the GDP has declined from 4% to 0.9% during the PPM administration how can they justify a 25% in the number of work permits. This can only mean that Caymanians are being forced out of the work place as work permts should only increase when the GDP is increasing.
    The Government need sto cap the total number of work permits to be granted annually and to also bring back the quota system by placing caps on each nationality, They need to develop a policy to reduce the total umber of work permits each year by the number of Caymanians being added to the work force each year.
    how is it that in our capitalist society the only product that is short supply and high demand, caymanian labour, has low value.

    • Lorna Bush says:

      I wonder if the 1,000 persons registered are Caymanians? I don’t think you have to be Caymanian to register at the DER.  I also wonder what percentage of the DER’s budget is spent on non-Caymanians and their issues?  I have stopped by that office on a number of occasions and am surprised by the mix that I see in the waiting area. If the DER becomes aware of unemployed work permit holders, do they advise the Immigration department of this?

      Personally, I believe that there are a number of permit holders in the construction industry and the domestic helper category that are ‘unemployed" although this should never be the case, by virtue of the fact that someone applied and was granted a work permit on the basis of need.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you running independently or for the UDP, regardless, when addressing the people of these islands with initiatives you hope to implement please extend the courtesy of proof reading your text. The numerous mistakes in your response to this article almost overshadow whatever points are making, and whatever validity they may have.

      Your points seem to have merit however (should I be a North Side resident) your careless application of English grammar would lead me to doubt your attention to detail which is an inherent characteristic we would like our politicians to possess.