Archive for September 30th, 2010

Unemployment focus of regional youth day

| 30/09/2010 | 10 Comments

(CNS): To mark Caribbean Youth Day the minister with responsibility for youth has called on the entire community to help tackle youth unemployment. With the jobless rate for young people in Cayman running at over 35% getting young people in work is just as challenging in our community, despite over employment problems among the experienced workforce. "Youth unemployment has become this century’s biggest developmental challenge in almost every country. With global unemployment figures for youth running two to three times higher than those for adults, almost half of all jobless people are under the age of thirty," Scotland said.

Mark Scotland’s full message:

The theme for this year’s Caribbean Youth Day is creating sustainable employment for young people. Some might say the challenges are insurmountable. They include low economic growth, continuing job losses, the high cost of tertiary education and a general reluctance to encourage or accept inexperienced youngsters who are trying to enter the job market.

How then do we help our young people to not only overcome these difficulties, but to also unlock their potential so that they can mature and become tomorrow’s dynamicworkforce?

The Ministry of Education, Training & Employment has also been working on several initiatives aimed at improving services, support, assistance and guidance to the youth of this country. These include increased career guidance in school, providing students with work experience through dedicated placement (which is part of the Further Education Programme for Year 12) and preparing young people for the world of work through the National Employment Passport Programme, Passport2Success.

But these commendable efforts should not be left to stand alone.

Parents, teachers and friends should all be part of the equation. From an early age, our children need to develop solid values and we need to instill in them the value of a strong work ethic. We should likewise offer career counseling, encouraging our youth to think outside of the box when it comes to livelihood choices and strongly promoting creativity and entrepreneurship. I accordingly call on everyone to make an investment in Cayman’s future and celebrate this Caribbean Youth Day by spending time with a young person. I can assure you that it will be time well spent.

Our approach is necessarily interactive and cooperative: Together with other government agencies such as the Department of Education Services and the Ministry of Education, our Youth Services Unit is already working hard to place our young people on the pathway to sustainable employment.

Annual summer camps help students identify possible careers by testing aptitude and personality traits. There are also opportunities to explore a range of fields including mechanics, office administration, fashion design, creative media and culinary arts.

In addition the Youth Services Unit works with youth to plot their further education plans by exploring tertiary education institutions, course requirements and scholarship opportunities. Staff also assist with creating and updating young people’s résumés, and maintain an updated bulletin board of job opportunities for entry-level applicants and other suitably qualified youngsters.

Continue Reading

Activists reschedule meeting to talk ‘rubbish’

| 30/09/2010 | 13 Comments

(CNS): Following yesterday’s poor weather, the second public meeting of the local activist group WISE was postponed and the members are inviting the public to join them this evening upstairs at A L Thompsons at 5;30pm. The group intends to make another presentation about the issue of waste management in the Cayman Islands and stimulate debate about how the country can handle its rubbish in future. Taking the position that government’s proposal to deal with Mount Trashmore, as the George town landfill is commonly known, via incineration and waste to energy is not the real solution, the activists will be presenting alternative proposals for discussion. (Photo Kerry Horek)

For more details visit

Continue Reading

Hedge fund moves from Cayman to Luxemburg

| 30/09/2010 | 66 Comments

(Finalternative): Another European hedge fund has moved onshore in advance of new European Union rules covering hedge funds. Signina Capital is redomiciling its Cayman Islands funds in Luxembourg. The Swiss fund of hedge funds said that the move was motivated by client demands, and that it would move other funds to Europe from Cayman. The firm recently hired Northern Trust as its administrator. “Fund managers are hearing from investors, who continue to demand increased transparency, greater control and more robust governance frameworks for their alternative investments,” said Ian Headon, Northern Trust’s product development head for hedge funds and funds of hedge funds in Europe.

“We were looking for a jurisdiction and a provider that would enhance our ability to meet our clients’ needs and Northern Trust had the experience and product expertise to support these requirements.”

Continue Reading

Census secure, says ESO boss

| 30/09/2010 | 33 Comments

(CNS): The director of the Economics and Statistics Office says that information given to workers during the national census will be secure. With only ten days to go before the national count, Maria Zingapan said the information given to enumerators will not be linked to personal individuals when the information is entered into the database. No organisations, such as insurances companies, will get access to the personal details given in the survey and the public can feel safe answering the survey. Zingapan said that legal names are not required and people can use nicknames merely to distinguish between members of a household. She explained that sole householders do not need to supply a name at all for the questionnaire.

She explained that names and telephone numbers are only there for follow-up to clarify certain responses specific to a person if it is needed.
Zingapan also reassured the public that the information will not find its way to any other agents.
“By law, ESO cannot and will not be providing individual census data to any agency including government bodies,” the ESO director told CNS in the wake of concerns raised by readers.
“ESO also follows international best practices for national statistics offices where data collected from households and businesses are used for statistical purposes only and no individual data are to be released.  These best practices also govern the ESO through the Statistics Law (1996 Revision) as Amended (2010).”
She explained that the purpose of the health questions is to guide health services policy and planning at the community and national level. No individual information will be provided to any government agency outside of the ESO or to any private sector group or industry. In 2007 a significant number of health status questions were asked in the Survey of Living Conditions but none of that information has been provided to the insurance industry, or any industry for that matter, Zingapan noted.
“ESO places utmost importance on its confidentiality obligations to its respondents with the penalties for breaches of this confidentiality strengthened in the Statistics Amendment Law 2010,” she said. “Among households, ESO’s past surveys, which include the Labour Force Survey (LFS), enjoys one of the highest response rates (80-85%) in the region. In the upcoming 2010 Population and Housing Census, ESO hopes that all households will similarly be as co-operative to the census enumerator and responsive to the census questionnaire.”
She asked the public to welcome the enumerators and pointed out that household interviews are not new to Cayman. As ESO conducts household interviews for the Labour Force Surveys (LFSs) annually – sometimes twice in one year.
Although, some jurisdiction do such surveys via the post or even on-line, Zingapan explained that ESO conducted a survey in 2008 to guage the preferred method for household surveys or censuses and over 65% of people who were asked said they preferred face-to-face interviews.  “Most importantly, the United Nations recommends face-to-face interview as the best method for censuses and surveys to ensure high coverage and good quality,” she added.
The statistics expert said that on-line census systems are technically complicated and costly and no Caribbean countries have used the internet. She also noted that the recent 2010 US census did not use an online option.
“While the ESO initially considered this way back in 2008, it was not pursued for a variety of logistical and financial reasons,” Zingapan said. “A key reason is that the census field work requires three simultaneous activities: canvassing and listing of dwelling units, and interview of households. Canvassing means going through an enumeration area to identify all buildings or structures that are used as dwelling units. Identified dwelling units should correspond to household interviews. The matching of canvassing/listing activities with an on-line interview and subsequent verification would make this process complicated and costly.”
Online and postal censuses also require more time from the participants and the public will need to at least read the Census manual for themselves.  “This option requires more hours from the respondents than the average 20 minutes required in face-to-face interviews,” she said explaining that twenty minutes is the estimated time for an enumerator to interview a household with 2-3 members. “It is very typical that posting would eventually require follow-up face-to-face interviews for those with incomplete or poor-quality returns. This turned out to be the case in the 1999 Census,” she said.
The national count begins on 10/10/10 and the ESO is hoping to get a 100% accurate count of the number of households and therefore population of the country on that night. Officials also hope that they will get a 100% response on the household survey, which is comprised of 67 questions.
Aside from getting a snapshot of the lives of people Cayman, it is hoped the survey will result in a cross section of comprehensive statistics to help inform future government policy regarding services and management of emergencies.
The office has also released a number of the questions that the public will be asked during the interview by enumerators, ranging from migration and immigration issues to education standards. The first and most important question will be how many people were living or staying at a house on census night.
All the questions can be viewed here. Scroll down and click on "Census SAMPLE Questionnaire".

Continue Reading

Cops go quiet on crime

| 30/09/2010 | 36 Comments

(CNS): Although sources tell CNS that an attempted robbery took place at the Domino’s Pizza Parlour in Mary Street last night, the police say that cannot offer the public any information.  It is unclear what time the incident took place, how the robbers were foiled in their attempts or how the men or women were armed.  Police told CNS this morning that they were aware of an incident but were unable to offer information for the public and advised us to call the press liaison officer. Recent instructions from RCIPS officials to the media advise that outside of office hours the duty sergeant or inspector at George Town police station would be the source of information for media distribution. However, officers have become increasingly reluctant to talk with the press, making it difficult for local media to keep the public informed. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

This is at least the second time that robbers have targeted the small takeaway restaurant, but with no informationcoming from the police we are unable to say if anyone was hurt or the property was damaged. In June masked armed men crashed through the store’s front doors and left with a small amount of cash.
With the increasing breakdown of communication between police and media, CNS is calling on members of the public to help us keep the community informed. Please contact our news room with any information about crimes taking place in your neighbourhood on or 926 6816.

Continue Reading

Drilling plans off Cuba stir fears of impact on gulf

| 30/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(New York Times): Five months after the BP oil spill, a federal moratorium still prohibits new deepwater drilling in the American waters of the Gulf of Mexico. And under longstanding federal law, drilling is also banned near the coast of Florida. Yet next year, a Spanish company will begin drilling new wells 50 miles from the Florida Keys — in Cuba’s sovereign waters. Cuba currently produces little oil. But oil experts say the country might have reserves along its north coast as plentiful as that of the international oil middleweights, Ecuador and Colombia — enough to bolster its faltering economy and cut its dependence on Venezuela for its energy needs. The advent of drilling in Cuban waters poses risks both to the island nation and the United States.

Go to article

Continue Reading