Open doors to work experience

For young people who will soon enter the labour market, becoming part of the Department of Employment Relations’ summer employment programme can open doors, allowing them to earn extra cash while also gaining valuable work experience.

The department’s Programme Development Officer Jean Solomon, who coordinates the summer work programme, said, ‘For four years now we have been placing young people in part-time summer jobs – many of which become full-time positions, or lead to scholarships after they leave high school. We also use the programme to encourage employers to give students a chance to establish themselves in the workplace.’

This programme is designed to accommodate all students, regardless of individual skills, competencies and ability. Young people in the age range of 15 to 25 years can participate by providing DER with a basic resume.

Prospective employers should similarly contact DER to participate. The summer work scheme is offered on Grand Cayman as well as on Cayman Brac, and businesses on both islands are encouraged to register their summer vacancies with the Department of Employment Relations.

Speaking of the mutual benefits, Ms. Solomon added that this is an excellent opportunity for students and employers. Young people will learn what is expected of them in the workplace, and should benefit from exposure to areas in which they have interest and aptitude. Similarly, businesses will be able to assess students’ performance and provide valuable feedback on skills, before the young people permanently enter the workforce, states a GIS press release.

‘I have seen so many success stories from this programme that I am determined to continue to reach out to the young people, keep them off the streets during the summer, and allow them to make positive life decisions,’ Ms. Solomon said. ‘I hope it will result in employers and students joining forces, with students developing the skills needed in our labour market.’

She thanked employers who have employed students over the years, as well as students who, ‘Have made the DER, and their families, proud of their achievements in this initiative.’

To register for participation or get more information please contact DER Assistant Director Jennifer Smith at 945-3114.