Graduates ready to work

The latest graduates of government’s job readiness program for school leavers, young men and single moms, are ready for the workplace after completing the 12-week course.

The 23 participants in the Passport2Success program received practical hands-on training in occupational, personal and job-specific skills.

They were also involved in work placements and community services, earning a monthly stipend for their efforts, including performance related incentives.

Monday’s graduates were the third group this year to complete the program and the 12th since it launched in 2011.

Program coordinator Shannon Seymour said demand for the course is growing.

“We received over 50 applications for the 25 spaces available for this cohort. This speaks volumes of the need and desire to acquire these kinds of skills, and reflects the positive reputation of the program,” Ms Seymour said.

More than 240 young Caymanians have completed the course since it began three years ago.

Government has hailed it as a success story, saying 85 percent of participants complete the program, with approximately 35 percent securing employment by graduation, and 61 percent within a year of graduation.

Politicians and sponsors joined the students for a graduation ceremony at the Wharf Restaurant on Monday,

Yakanee Watson, one of the graduates, said the course has made a difference to her life.

“I know the skills I’ve learned will be used in both my personal and professional life, and I look forward to what the future will bring,” she said.

Classmate Tamara Hernandez added, “It was an honor to be a participant, and I will carry the knowledge and experience I learned with me throughout my life.”

Education Minister Tara Rivers described the Passport2Success program as providing “an excellent opportunity for young people to develop professional skills and build confidence as they enter the workforce.”
She added, “The P2S program continues to deliver in its ability to provide these young people with a considerable competitive advantage in gaining access to jobs.”