Anglin to get youth working

| 05/04/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island Headline news, Cayman jobs(CNS): A new intensive course designed to get Cayman’s unemployed into work will start this month for the country’s youngest job hunters. The National Employment Passport Programme will eventually be rolled out for all of the country’s jobless, but the 11-week pilot course will focus on school leavers and young people who are struggling to find and keep a job. This new initiative is not just about workplace skills but attitudes and employability, the minister for labour said. Launching the Passport2Success on Thursday, Rolston Anglin said the first 25 people are set to begin the course on 19 April.

The minster explained that the youngsters who will take part in this new full-time free programme at the International College of the Cayman Islands will be taught what to wear, how to behave, how to mix and what’s expected of them in the workplace environment. It will teach them how to apply for a job, what to do at an interview and how to survive the first three months to get past probation periods and hold on to their jobs. Students will get a crash course in the basic numeracy and literacy they need for work as well as use of grammar, vocabulary, computer skills, problem solving and how to use office equipment, from photocopiers to telephones.
The course is expected to beef young people’s skills and attitudes and help them become ‘work ready’, but will also offer the country a better way to asses the skills of school leavers and find out why Cayman’s youngsters are struggling to find work or hold down a job when they find one.
“Local employers tell us that large numbers of young people are not meeting the basic skill standards that they expect,” Anglin said. “We are trying to drill down and discover what is really happening and hope to deliver what the economy needs and what business needs in terms of well rounded people.” The minister explained it was about assisting young people and equipping them with the skills employers actually want so that they will be better placed to find a job.
The eleven-week workplace “boot camp” will be directed and taught by Lynne Banker, an HR professional and educator who has helped design the programme, and Shannon Seymour of the Wellness Centre, a clinical psychologist who is also a corporate trainer. Banker said the students will be put through their paces on everything they will need to get them into work.
“The programme comprises various elements, such as education, employment workshops, work experience, community services and extra curricular activities such as attending service clubs, playing sports and even working towards obtaining a drivers license,” she added.
Seymour explained that the course would be guiding the young people over what is expected of them as well as what they can expect when they join the workforce. “They have to understand that working for a company is not an extension of high school,” Seymour said. “You have to conform to a corporate culture. There are certain expectations which we will prepare the young people for, from how to interact with work colleagues to the general guidelines about behaviour.”
The course will carry a stipend of $70 per week, and for the candidates that complete the course there will be an opportunity to earn a performance bonus.
The minister explained that the programme was a perfect example of a public-private partnership as the ministry was using tutors from the private sector to deliver the course and local businesses LIME and CML Offshore Recruitment were the main sponsors, although the bulk of the cost for the course would be paid for by the ministry. Anglin said other businesses would be helping with placements and presentations, and as the initiative was created with their needs in mind, the goal was to ensure local employers took on the youngsters who successfully completed the passport programme.
The minster said that students not ready for work because of skill gaps such numeracy or literacy problems could be placed in further education at UCCI in order to address those basic skill shortages, but the hope was that a significant number of the students would be ready for work.
The minister explained that the first course would give the ministry an opportunity to begin measuring and gathering data and facts about the standard of school leavers and exactly what the ministry needed to focus on to give Cayman’s young people at better chance at better careers.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Teach the children well and let them lead the way.  History should be a required subject in school, first caribbean, then world.  If young people are not aware of history then they are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. 

    One of our great caribbean leaders who left an excellent  legacy for the young people of that country wrote and I quote " I am a member of a generation that not only takes academic recognition seriously, I also take the pursuit of knowledge very seriously as well.  Knowledge is the foundation of all human endeavour; it is the basic of our character; it defines our values and it is the key to human understanding.  Without knowledge we would, despite all of our technological achievement to date, descend into an age of hi-tech barbarism.  A healthy respect for science and technology is good, but we simply cannot survive as a species without character, values and understanding.  These things make us civilized; they make us whole and human; they are the only things that make us different from animals".

    These remarks were make at the commencement ceremony of Elmira College, Elmira, New York, Sunday, May 31st, 1992 by non other than……..?

    CNS should give a prize for the first correct answer given from a Caymanian under 40 years old.

    CNS: Sure – a year’s free subscription to the CNS website for the person who can answer this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Excellent idea Mr. Anglin.

    There is a time and appropriate place for these skills to be taught….that is during the Life Skills sessions that are already mandatory for every student in govt high schools. In these economically stressful times we would not have to pay additional instructors to teach this new course. 

    Wishing us, the Caymanian people the greatest success in this initiative.

    Such a simple program can get rid of many work permits.

    For those interested there is research proving that revenue from work permit fees are smoke in mirrors as a Caymanian employed spends more in the local economy that his expat counterpart, far outweighing the work permit revenue. 

    This is indeeda better way forward. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Where’s this research liar?

      It is hearsay from you. Work permit holders spend as much in the local economy as locals that earn the same salary. They come here and have to buy everything new, they don’t get handouts from the government as they cannot vote. Plus they are automatically taxed 2% on any funds they send home.

      Expats import more stuff rather than paying extortionate prices locally and the government still makes 22% duty on all items they import. If they bought the same item locally they would pay less duty (because the retailer would only pay duty on the price he paid) but because of the markup the consumer would pay a lot more and the retailer would make more profits, but the government and local economy gets nothing extra, only the greedy retailers benefit.

      The government earns much more from work permit holders than locals. No arguments.

      I agree with your comment that there are too many work permits and that young Caymanians should be put to work rather than robbing houses and mugging people or relying on the expats to pay for their upkeep through their taxes and fees. Just the local economy spending bit that was clearly utter nonsense.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t know much about the research and don’t really care but I can tell you the facts.

        Cayman was a better place and Caymanians were better off when the Native of this country were Caymanians and thosewho became citizens by virture of a grant were Status Holders.

        Cayman was a better place and Caymanians were better off financially and socially where there were more of us and less of them.

        Cayman was a better place and Caymanians were better off financially when we owned still owned our land from shore to shore

        Caymanians can do without living off permits fees we’ve done without it since 1503 until you came here so adios mi amigo, adios my friend you and your permit fees and see if we will die of starvation. Take the benefit of your work permit fee with you.  Cayman will have the benefit of one less stress to worry about.

  3. Joe Mama says:

    Boy do you have your work cut out for you.  Not only do you have to lead the horse to water and teach it to drink, you have to watch out for all the biting, kicking, foul language, disrespect, lack of motivation and human skills that somehow, some way have permeated Cayman Culture in the recent past.

    And on top of that they need to learn NOT to follow the example of Current Cayman leadership.

    If you can do this it would mean that Cayman really has a future as a self run (in partnership) country.  Good luck, and all the best.  Really!

  4. Andy says:

    I know there are many others, but if you want a few model\\mentors for both male\\female young Caymanians, look no futher than the Foster family. All these siblings worked at base rate retail at some point as many of us have and they\\ we are far better people and customer sales representitives {in any field} because of it.

    just my 2 cents

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr Anglin for introducing this concept to our youth.It will help to motivate the young adults and help them to get job placements.

    Please ensure that it gets to more adolescents soon.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good Rollie. Now, when they are trained, educated, and presentable, and the expat boss still hires his wife’s schoolfriend from Calgary (or wherever) over one of them, what you gonna do then?

    Don’t forget there is still more to this than meets the eye. Just ask some recently unemployed prominent and accomplished Caymanians from your own district. There will always be excuses not to hire Caymanians unless and until someone actually enforces the law. Unfortunately, that will never happen because Caymanians and expatriates alike cannot report offences without getting fired.

    Good one!


    • anonymous says:

      The govt. must demonstrate that they are serious about educating our youth to meed to meet the social and economic challenges they face in this country.

      You must be mindful, though. The bible says "Watch and Pray"

      Don’t close both eyes, KEEP ONE EYE OPEN" to watch what they’re doing.

      Lets take a look at what they’re doing in immigration regarding work permits grants, Key Employee Status etc, status grants etc. I’m saying this because I look at things from all angles. This may be a distraction throwing us a piece of meat, while they "make a Move" ,sneaking by doing something else that would upset us if discovered. So we have to stay on the wall watch their every move, praise them when they do the right thing and stop them when they try to do wrong.

  7. Anonymous says:

    First it is curious as to why they used ICCI instead of UCCI, which begs relevance of UCCI.


    Second, why not just pay people to go seek higher education like they use to (vocational or academic).  Yes, they use to PAY (as in a stipend) for students to attend higher education.  It appears that is the only way Caymanians are motivated. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, by what ever means necessary.  The Cayman Islands should aim to have the same educational standards like Barbados, Bermuda, Bahamas and Israel.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Glad something is being done… but, aren’t these skills taught in highschool?

    CNS: I have kids in high school and yes they are taught now but it may not have been part of the curriculum when these young people were in school.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you.  Guess the good news is that this program shouldn’t last long since we won’t/ shouldn’t be re-creating the need for it

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes it was there CNS – for many years – but…………’s not easy fighting against ignorance and ENTITLEMENT.

  9. Florence Goring-Nozza says:



    Governments recent move to introduce an intensive course to get Cayman’s unemployed back to work is one of the best moves by our government and in my humble opinion it can only yield good results.

    I am appealing to Ms.Juliana Oconnor Connolly, responsible women’s affairs to partner with Mr. Anglin in this new venture. Put a curriculum in place for some of these young ladies (in search of a job) to teach them some etiquette, poise and groom.This will enable them to succeed in their endeavors. Some of them are dressing for less but we need to "Tutor" them how to dress for success. Mr. Anglin may want to consider following suit or delegate a male role model to do provide briefing for the young men  that are job hunting as well. Dressing for the office and dressing for the club are two totally different  demands.  So lets pay attention.

    For those that have been jobless for some time and may not be able to afford new or suitable clothing for an interview, there are Churches and Social Services Agencies if not in place already, that could very quickly be set up to freely furnish these applicants with a nice professional looking suit or two piece outfit for the interview. A  start up wardrobe from local dress shops’ shoe stores,hand bags, etc,overstock,or other liquidated stock could be donated for this good cause. This will give these young men and women a jump start into the job market with some pride and dignity.

    Job applicants how you look in the eyes of the company manager or the proprietor when you show up for the interview, can determine whether you get hired or not !. hiring thugs is a threat to a company’s economic and overall security.

    Cayman has a lot of rich real estate owners that may have free storage available, whether warehouse space or  a store front , we need you to donate some space for these clothing to be stored and displayed so that those in need of these services may have access to them under management or supervision. Government should provide some kind of subsidy for those generous contributors investing in our society.

    There should be a system of accountability and verification of job search put in place to discourage any abuse of such services.

    This is a great contribution to our society. Instead of tearing our Island down, its much more fun building a Cayman that we can be proud of.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Government need to develop a proper education system and get the long over due technical school and stop the foolishness of telling our young people that the way to success is in the financial industry; be honest and let them know that the financial industry world wide is in a steady decline. Very soon like the travel industry the financial industry will be so high tech that tax heavens will be a distant memory.

    Encourage our young people instead to revisit our first love and what made this country great the tourism industry and quality of our product.  Caymanians have always been known for their hospitality and personality. No one can sell our product like us and the hospitality industry should only be Caymanians.  I saw this in Nassau and it was a wonderful sight.

    We need teachers, medical workers, and other technical workers, our leaders need to stop the nonsense of training our people to fill one market and by the time Caymanians begain to benefit they are forced out and expats occupy that profession, just look at tourism, financial industry and construction, should I continue? I guess not you get the point.

    Better enforcement of our immigration laws will ensure our young people a fair opportunity. By the way if it’s true that 2,500 PR were given recently and there is a fast track for those recipents to get status, so help us God.  I hope Native Caymanians can find a spot in North Side like the Blue Iguanas.

  11. Anonymous says:

     Academic requirement, to graduate high school!!

    And you wouldn’t need ANOTHER Special program to

     "be taught what to wear, how to behave, how to mix and what’s expected of them in the workplace environment. It will teach them how to apply for a job, what to do at an interview and how to survive the first three months to get past probation periods and hold on to their jobs. Students will get a crash course in the basic numeracy and literacy they need for work as well as use of grammar, vocabulary, computer skills, problem solving  "


    Good luck to all.

  12. West Bayer says:

    My opinion on this is, school’s are ‘burning out’ kids with unnecessary subjects like Trigonometry and other similar types of foolishness !!

    When a child reaches the age of 13-14, they should have some clear enough idea as to what the want to be when they graduate! For example, if a child wants to be a hairdresser why should they be stressing out about  ALGERBA?!?Let the kids spend their Soph-Senior years perfecting their career interest.

    We need trade schools! And then kids will WANT to go to school when it’s of interest.

    I mean if we look back at the ‘old school’ pupils who went on to be MASTERS at their crafts, it’s clear they didn’t all obtain science or math degree’s, but good ambitious skills gained in their chosen field(s).

    If student’s want to be Dr’s, Lawyers,Dive Masters, Hotel Clerks, Restaurant Managers, Pastors , Designers, Chefs, Pilots, Politicians, Actors, Musicians etc… – give em the necessary subjects they NEED to accomplish these goals.

    We need to get the kids to LOVE going to school again! And one way to start, is by assessing what they want to do and give them the tools, guidance and resources to do it with. Simple.

    And while were at it, let’s get multi-purpose halls in EACH district that will have rotations of volunteers in everything from ballet, swimming, study groups, basketball, thatch roping, gymnastics, karate classes, a little of everything to offer to kids for after school and on weekends. BECAUSE I DOUBT NOT EVERYONE FROM W.B. CAN AFFORD (OR GET TO) A 3:30PM DANCE CLASS IN G.T. THAT COST $600 A MONTH! ;(

    We need to give the kids beneficial options. Not just school hours.


    • frank rizzo says:

      It’s not the trig or algebra or calculus that is important, it is the analytical thinking behind those subjects that students and the workforce need.  The same analytical skills are just useful to the taxi driver, lawyer, tile-setter, as the MBA grad student.  You can do any "job" you desire if you know how to think.  Most, if not all of the vocational training programmes I’ve seen have an analytical skills component attached.

  13. PaperCaymanian says:

    This sounds like a good project. I hope there will be realistic expectations for the initial success. There are about three generations of enitlement to overcome. Hope they teach some non-verbal communication skills as well,when you get someone like "Fed Up Caymanian" screaming at an interviewer non-verbally nobody wins.Well over 70% of communication taking place in an interview is non-verbal. Letting up on some of that "crabs in a bucket" mentality will go long way towards good relations as well.Also I see no reference to training the blue collar skills that are so badly needed in this country.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The real key to reducing the unemployment rate for Caymanian school leavers is to establish a good old-fashioned (public/private) apprenticeship programme.  It should be made compulsory for companies with over 10 employees to provide 1-year apprenticeships for two school leavers.  Plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning, construction, office work, retail, hospitality — every company with over 10 employees should be involved. 

    • Anonymous says:

      That is prettymuch the law already. Like everything else, it never gets enforced.

  15. Frequent Flyer says:

    FINALLY!! This is fantastic! These skillls should already be taught in high school. I am so glad that this need is finally being recognized and efforts made to satisfy.

  16. Peter Schmid says:

    I think this is a good initiative!

    Let us be clear, an 11 week course will not create aqualified person in any specific discipline. But I do believe it can help people that do not have a realistic idea of work place realities, ready to be gainfully employed .

    Average intelligence, a good basic high school education and a good attitude with realistic expectations, are a good basis  for many, if not most, worthwhile occupations.

  17. Fed Up Caymanian Who Can't Find a Decent Job says:

    Listen – some on the problems why young people don’t get jobs are real with our youth; however, a majority of them are the result of companies not wanting to give Caymanians a job.

    They would much prefer to advertise the job, give an interview to a Caymanian in order to satisy the Work Permit Board, then decline the Caymanian while giving the Board a baloney story about  why the Caymanian was not hired. 

    Mr. Minister, it happens all the time and to people whom you would not expect it to happen to.  Guess that’s what comes from having permit holders at the helm of these companies. They would much prefer to bring in friends from their overseas head offices,rather than give a Caymanian a job. Wish the Work Permit Boards would do a better job in investigating some of the s### that goes on here!!

    • Anonymous says:

      You say that, but I interviewed 15 Caymanians for a job.  Only four of them had appropriate resumes.  Only three of them had the basic Math and English skills you would expect from a high school student, let alone to meet the rigors of the job. Only one of them was dressed appropriately for a job interview.  Most were unprepared for the interview and completely unsuitable for the job.  I did hire a Caymanian but it wasn’t easy to find one and that Caymanian required far more training and hand holding than should have been necessary.   Good job Mr. Anglin. This is a step in the right direction.

      • Florence Goring-Nozza says:

        Good move Mr.Rolston Anglin,

        Can you please tell us when a fully operational Technical School for the Cayman Islands will be instituted, and will it be included in the budget in the near very near future?   I believe a Technical School should be at the very top of  government’s Agenda. At this time in our History it is the way to go.


    • Anonymous says:

      Absoutely true.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is absolute rubbish and you know it. Any half competent Caymanian could easily walk into a decent job if they were presentable, motivated and literate. Unfortunately there is a lack of quality young Caymanians. Most of them now leave school without being able to read or write and posess no interpersonal skills or any respect for authority. Those few that are educated and suitable are not willing to start at the bottom of organisations and work their way up. They expect to leave school and become CEO straight away because of their entiltement as Caymanians.

      My company has had open roles that are still sitting open. We advertised and didn’t find any suitable local talent, so tried to hire a work permit holder, then immigration declined the permit as they believed there were suitable locals that could do the job. They even sent  acouple for interviews. One of them came dressed for the beach and told us he didn’t want the job as it was beneath him. The second candidate arrived 40 minutes late but still found time during the interview to answer cell phone calls and check his blackberry emails. We are currently in a stalemate, we cannot employ somebody able and willing to do the job, and will not employ a halfwit who doesn’t care less about the job just because they are the only option. two jobs are therfore vacant and we are short staffed.

      If some of the locals put as much effort into their work as they do into stirring trouble, blaming others, committing petty crimes etc then the island would be a great place to do business. Statistics are now confirming that this is not the case as business leaves the island to move to morewelcoming places around the world.

      Ridiculous immigration laws and poor selfish and lazy attitudes of some locals is going to cost the hard working Caymanians a lot of opportunities as they find their jobs also dissappearing overseas.

      • Beachboi says:

        FINALLY!!!  A SENSIBLE PERSON!!!   Lets face up to the facts.  The majority of graduates today lack a large percentage of the basics required to get a job upon leaving school.  And yes, as mentioned above, they do feel entitled to begin as upper to middle management and all but refuse to begin at the bottom of the ladder and work their way to the top.  This would take too long to EARN the reward of having a nice home and a $50,000+ car.  I think that the program initiated by the Minister is a good idea for those that need it but unfortunately that seems to be a greater percentage than a lesser as it should be.  The quote from the article "Students will get a crash course in the basic numeracy and literacy they need for work as well as use of grammar, vocabulary, computer skills, problem solving and ……..".  How ridiculous is this.  What is being said here is the truth although it is shameful to admit that our graduates do not possess "basic numeracy and literacy…..use of grammar, vocabulary etc.   These should AUTOMATICALLY be taught to  high school students.  Also someone commented earlier that students should not be made to waste their time taking subjects such as trigonometry if they intend to be hair stylists etc.  Okay, but what happens if they  change their mind??????  That happens and this person should know that.  I wont get into the whole idiotic "us versus them" that just will not die but I will take the time to say that I think that in order for Cayman graduates to break this stereotype that they should be FORCED to complete all 12 years of study before being allowed to graduate and if they do not qualify for graduate status then they should be kept behind until they do.  BTW I am 100% Caymanian and I did start at the bottom so I know what I am talking about!!!!!!!!!!!1

  18. Anonymous says:

    Finally something valuable for the young people to learn.  Ms Banker should also impress upon the children that tattoos, piercings, two-inch long designed fingernails, funny coloured hair and foolishness of that sort is not the sort of thing a bank or law firm would go for either. If they want respect they have to at least not look like gangsters or prostitutes!  I don’t even know how parent let their kids out of the house like that.  It puts the kids on the wrong road to starting their first jobs.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would have to agree with this comment. It’s hard to pin-point when this mentality became popular. The Braided hair and the neck tattoos. Although, this in itself should not be sole basis for judging whether or not they can do the job. Some jobs are not client facing, so appearance shouldn’t be that much of a big deal. It’s more to do with the attitude and the lack of respect for authority.

    • Anonymous says:

      I also hope he teaches them that baggy pants, corn rows for men, baggy shirt are not acceptable on an interview or even during work hours.  I also hope he teaches them that not to have the attitude that it is their god forsaken right to get the job even though they have no experience!!

  19. anon says:

    I think this is a good plan.  But the key to success will be these unemployed young Caymanians admitting that they lack skills and enrolling in this program, rather than blaming someone else for their problems.

  20. Anonymous says:

    This sounds like a good commonsense approach. I sincerely hope that not only does it work for the young people enrolling in the programme, but that it also identifies the underlying problems that allowed these young people to leave high school without the skills that they need to succeed in life.