Second youth employment course gets underway

| 23/09/2010

(CNS): Another twenty-four young people have joined the government’s youth employment scheme Passport2Success in the hope of improving their chances in the most difficult job market Cayman has ever experienced. With over a 1,000 Caymanians out of work, youngsters with no higher education qualifications and no work experience are hit the hardest by the recession.  Following the positive response to the Passport2Successpilot earlier this year, the second free 12-week skills preparation programme began this month. Over half of the students from the last course are now either in college or working, organisers said, giving hope for this next group of young people.

Programme Coordinator Shannon Seymour said she was hoping for a repeat of the last group’s achievements with the second class. “Of the 22 students who signed up during the pilot, 14 have transitioned from unemployment to having some clear goals,” she said. “Six are now attending the University College of the Cayman Islands and eight are fully employed. Most young people not only need a chance, but they also need to be prepared to take advantage of that chance when it comes. This program equips them to do that.”
The programme tackles specific skill gaps, such as literacy and IT, but its main focus is to teach school leavers how to go through the process of securing a job and keeping it once they have done that and preparing them for the realities of the work place.
Education and Training Minister Rolston Anglin said the programme would help the students to get a firm grasp of employers’ expectations. “It’s designed to ensure that your transition to the world-of-work is as smooth as possible, as well as to equip you with the softer skills that employers desire,” he told the young people enrolled on the orientation day.
After only one course the Passport2success programme appears to be gaining a positive reputation as a number of the latest group of students said they were there as a result of hearing about it from the pilot-group. “I heard about the programme from my cousin Michelle Johnson," Angelica McField explained. “And I’ve seen the difference it’s made in her life.”
The programme is full-time, runs five days weekly from 8:30am – 4:00pm and is based at the International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI).
Passport2Success is joint project between government and the private sector. It is free and no qualifications or work experience are required to participate. The minister has said he hopes to run at least two programmes a year to give young unemployed Caymanians a better chance of helping themselves into a job. Visit, email or call 949-9355 for details. Programme sponsors are the Ministry of Education, Training and Employment; LIME, Butterfield Group and CML Offshore Recruitment.
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  1. Sam says:

    Not matter where you live in the World most of the Population will not have professional careers and Cayman needs to wake up to this. Train your school leavers in basic trades for service the countries needs – Construction tradesmen, Gardeners, Cooks, Carers, Divers and Hospitality workers. This should be a private sector led program but at the same time the school leavers must sign up for it and commit to the training program for 3 -5 years to qualify as a journeyman in that trade with exams as well as on the job training. This will reduce the need to import labour and ensure that employers get what they want instead of unskilled labour pretending to be skilled and costing employers in bad workmanship. The formal training course should be done at the UCCI or equal with international recognized qualifications and yes some people will fail at first and have to re-sit the exams until they pass to be qualified.

  2. Anonymous says:

     how about this program be implemented as a career subject in school, so all of our kids get the benefit of this

  3. Anonymous says:

    I applaud the minister for implementing this programme, however I’m not sure why it’s not being tackled early on in the high school. This programme should be part of the school curriculum taught within the last two years of high school. I’m sure we’re spending a fortune to have an independent agency provide this service.

    Minister, please look into making this or a similar programme part of the school curriculum this will strengthen our youth and prepare them for the workforce.

    PLEASE consider government’s efforts to cut costs by allowing our skillful teachers the opportunity to facilitate this programme and not always think everything has to be outsourced.  


  4. anonymous says:

    CNS would you please make sure this report is true. If over half of them are working can you verify this. Govt will probagate what they think we want to hear we want the facts. How about a photo of the group that are working. Or some TESTIMONIALS!