One third of Passport2Success students land work

| 15/12/2014

(CNS): Organisers of the government sponsored training course for young unemployed people said that 33% of students on the latest course secured work before it was over. With unemployment among Caymanians still high, with anecdotal evidence suggesting the battle for work is getting increasingly difficult, twenty young people graduated on 1 December, the 15th cohort of Passport2Success (P2S), a training initiative that helps to prepare people for the workplace. They were the third group this year to complete the 12-week programme and Programme Coordinator Shannon Seymour said many had raised the bar this time.

“The graduating group have demonstrated their commitment to learning the skills that will secure employment and help them to maintain employment, with 33% of the graduates securing full-time or part-time employment prior to the end of the programme,” she said.

Proving to be a popular and successful course, on average 85 per cent of participants complete the programme, with approximately 35 per cent having already secured employment by graduation, and 61 per cent within a year of graduation. In the 12 months post-graduation, 18 per cent of graduates also report furthering their education.

Participants engage in practical hands-on training in occupational, personal and job-specific skills. They participate in work placement, an opportunity to impress potential employers and provide volunteer work through community service hours. Now in its fourth year, organisers said P2S has prepared over 355 young Caymanians to enter the workforce with professional-level competencies and renewed confidence.

Employment Minister Tara Rivers said the programme was about developing the soft skills and gives them a competitive advantage.

“The Passport2Success programme provides an excellent opportunity for young people to develop professional skills and build confidence as they enter the workforce,” she added.

Sponsors who contribute to the programme’s success include Webster’s Tours, Butterfield Bank and Kirk Freeport. Butterfield Bank opened savings accounts for each of the participants and taught them about personal finance; Webster’s provides transportation to participants to attend classes and for group excursions during the programme; and Kirk Freeport provides gift bags for the special awards at every graduation and helps to teach participants about dress and grooming in the workplace.

For more information regarding the P2S programme, as well as application forms and start dates for the next cohort, visit or Passport2Success Cayman Islands on Facebook. The programme is a Ministry of Education initiative delivered through the NWDA and is sponsored by Butterfield Bank and Webster’s Tours.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I know students who have completed this programme and they were placed in temporary jobs that lasted for three months. After the temporary placement they were told thats all the companies signed up for and it was not meant for longterm employment. Now most of the students are still without jobs.

    I think the prgramme itself is a good training tool for students however, it doesn't warrant all of the hype that the Education department boasts. When you compare the amount of money government pays this private company to facilitate the programme, it would be make moe sense to offer a similar progamme in the highschools. The highschool already employs clinical physcologists, behaviour therapists etc. so it baffles me to understand why at a time of economical constraint we aren't seeking ways to simplify and cut costs.

    The headlines and photos always look nice at the time but carry out an audit of where these students are in six months to ayear and you'll most likely find out they are still unemployed and this company has been paid quite substantially and getting ready to facilitate another course on the public purse.


    • xxx says:

      I have to disagree with what you say.  Passport2Success WILL send their "graduates" out on job interviews after the initial job is over.  It is up to the individual to go to the interviews and follow through.  They also have to be willing to take jobs they normally wouldn't want such as in supermarkets, gas stations etc. until the right one comes along.  Sadly, the mindset of many of the younger generation is that certain jobs are beneath them.   A job is a job is a job as long as when payday comes you get your salary and you are responsible for trying to climb the ladder.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is easier to find a job, if you have a job. The recruiter at the accounting firm does not care what you did for the two years since you left high school, they care that you did something. Showed some responsibilty, learned how toget up, put on a clean shirt, and get to work… On time. 

        Did a quick search of first jobs. Countless lists of celebrities and millionaires, sports figures and musicians, who… Went to work!

        Some on this list involved working in the family business. The rest I am sure did not wait at hoime for someone to knock on the doorto offer a job. 

      • Anonymous says:

        This headline sounds better than the real issue which is that two thirds of passport2success unable to find work!

    • Anonymous says:

      Come to think of it, why are we paying Shannon to do this? How much is this costing us in addition to the high schools and UCCI? Surely between the high schools and UCCI we can come up with something! Why do we have to fork out additional money for every striking thing? Make this course a must as part of what we are subsidizing UCCI and outright paying the high schools!!! Somebody FOI this cost!!!!!  Tara … Chistine ? What the heck is going on? If you don't know you ought to know!!! SMH! I'm paying taxes up to my eyeballs while unna is pissing it away?! Lawd!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    thats not very high statistics now is it, you're saying that roughly 3 out of every 10 students lad a job…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Students graduate from this programme, many of whom secure a job.  Unfortunately the majority of the jobs they secure only last for 3 months or less.  So, no big successes there!  I had 3 young ones go through this programme.  Better luck next time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah! Prolonging the inevitable …unemployment or underemployment of young people. Governments of progressive countries have seen the duplicity of this practice, prepared differently and stopped the work experience crap. Young people are entitled to be gainfully employed in their country of origin. Gainful employment is a right of passage for young people. Employed youth, people in general, are too tired from work to cause trouble.