Unemployment focus of regional youth day

| 30/09/2010

(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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Local News

About the Author ()

Comments (10)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Geoff Small says:

    In a resource and service based economy which Cayman’s is, it is blindingly obvious that school leavers have to find work in one of these two areas.   Apart from rum cakes, Cayman doesn’t manufacture anything.  There is no secondary sector for young Caymanians to find work in.  Cayman doesn’t make anything!  Bean Counter’s Viewpoint article, “Some food for thought,” sets this out very clearly.

    The service sector is shrinking.  Every month we hear of a financial institution that is leaving Cayman to set up home somewhere else in the world.  At the moment there is nothing to suggest that this trend will not continue.   If this trend does continue, it will gather pace and the worst case scenario isthat in five years time all that Cayman has left for school leavers is tourism. 

    Even if it is halted (and perhaps even reversed), working for a bank or hedge fund company with nothing more than a high schoolcertificate and a handful of CXCs is not likely to lead to very exciting career prospects.

    The only long-term solution to youth unemployment is blindingly obvious.  They have to be encouraged to seek work in tourism.  In the eight years that I lived on Grand Cayman, I was never served by a Caymanian waiter or barman.   You may say that is because of the paces that I visited but even a place like “Over the Edge” that ‘sells’ itself on a ‘Caymanian experience’ employed only expat waiting staff.

    This situation is ridiculous.  It’s like a 14 year old in a Nottinghamshire mining village in the 1930s choosing unemployment over working in the local coal mine.  It didn’t happen!

    While Caymanian school leavers and their parents continue to insist that they only work in an air-conditioned office earning at least $25000 a year to start with, this problem will remain.

    Australian, Jamaican, British, Canadian, Spanish, Austrian, French, Latvian and American youngsters are employed here doing literally hundreds of jobs.  While unemployed Caymanians of the same age sit around, unemployed but perfectly able to do those jobs feeling bitter and resentful, things will only get worse.

    Certainly, working in the heat on your feet all day and having to be pleasant and polite to rude, ungrateful and demanding tourists is not what they want but if that is all that there is – DO IT! 



  2. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry but you are wrong. There are many qualified Caymanians that are looking for work and the Immigration system does not protect us.Government is just blowing smoke once again. If we are educated then we have no experience and if we have the experience then we are over qualified , even though we apply for a less qualified position.

    There are of course Caymanians that do not want to work and again this comes down to the importation of drugs. Stop the drugs flow on this little 2 by 4 island and you will see things get better. Why not spend millions on a proper radar system for Grand Cayman and license all marine vessels over 14ft with GPS and make it law that it can not be removed.Then the helicopter and customs and police boats can patrol more effective.

  3. Just Sayin' says:

    Unemployment in Cayman is a myth. Any Caymanian who wants a job is able to get one. It may not be the one the feel they are entitled to but it is a job all the same

    • Anonymous says:

      ahhhhhhhhh, does the minister have the premiers permission to say this? Just wondering seeing as the premier is off island.

    • Anonymous says:

      ‘Just Sayin’ ‘… twaddle !!! you are obviously not unemployed – I agree with the writer ‘You are Wrong…’….

      I am qualified and have applied for many many jobs both fitting my qualifications and also for more ‘low-key’ positions.

      In every instance, I either have too much experience for the jobs fitting my qualifications or I am over-qualified for the more ‘low-key’ positions.

      In fact, I have even tried adjusting my CV for both the Higher level positions and the lower-key positions and after a year, I am still unemployed.

      I keep hearing the position that Caymanians are only unemployed ‘if they want to be’ and this is absolute rubbish – I could not be more serious about bein willing to accept any position but it has just not happened.

      Please, do not make sweeping comments unless you are personally in a position to ‘sell it like you bought it’………….


  4. Anonymous says:

     Hello, it seem as if the politicians hasn’t got the drift as yet.  When our young people make the the step forward to pursue tertiary education, are successful,return home, they are sidelined.  They are told they are over-qualified, do not have the experience, the job is for a senior position, you did not meet the requirements for the job and the excuses goes on and on.  

    I would suggest, get out there and start a hell of a demonstration in front of those offices, and then you would see what will happen.  

    Police, Police, Police.

    What is happening in the work place should be known.  The locals doing the same jobs are paid less than the work permit holders.  Where is the Labour Office staff to check all the disparities in the work force? This is only one of the checks that is lacking.

    It is time for government to make sure the citizens are protected and are able to provide for themselves (by be able to find jobs) and not become dependent on CFS for a monthly/weekly handout.

    • Trueblood says:

      I hate to be the bearer of bad and obvious news but the truth is:


      Department of Employment Relations and Immigration serve absolutely no purpose and this is from my own experience. You pass useful information to one and they send you somewhere else. Both departments need to get rid of their employees.

  5. IRON CLAD says:

    What about (un)employment for EVERYONE, XXXX???

  6. Anonymous says:

    People who are unemployed need to become responsible and not expect hand-outs! The world is becoming more and more competitive and I am sure they are many people who would love to live and take our places in the work force here. We have to push and make sure we have enough to feed ourselves and families. I feel times will get harder as Cayman’s population increase. Also, government and those in key postions have to be responsible and do their part in making Cayman a better place to live.

    Responsibility works both ways – A society must be governed properly and people must be responsible for their own development.


    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with the writer but these comments are easy to say when you are safely employed and not someone who has worked all their lives and suddenly found themselves out of a job and not able to find employment however hard they try.

      Talk is cheap – walk a mile in the shoes of an unemployed person applying for job after job without success and then talk…..