A worker in the government’s community cleanup program sustained serious injuries after being stabbed by a colleague at the George Town landfill site Tuesday.

A 19-year-old man from West Bay was arrested and is being held at the Cayman Islands Detention Centre. The victim was  treated at the Cayman Islands Hospital where his injuries were described as serious but not life-threatening.

Following the incident, government defended the clean-up program, known as NiCE, which gives opportunities to unemployed Caymanians to gain paid employment for a short period.

The Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure released a statement saying the incident would not affect the future of the program.

“While today’s incident was unfortunate, over the past few years the NiCE program has given a second chance to hundreds of persons, including those with barriers to employment,” the statement read.

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“While Government seeks to provide a structure within which NiCE participants can benefit from a productive experience it is incumbent on each one to take advantage of this opportunity to the fullest. Many have done so in the past and this year’s program will continue as planned.” The statement goes on to say the program has a strict code of conduct for behavior of workers and “zero tolerance” for antisocial behavior.

Around 460 people signed up for the NiCE program, which pays unemployed Caymanians and spouses of Caymanians $10 an hour for at least one week’s work.

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