1,350 sign up as jobseekers

Sign up lower than expected amid COVID-19 unemployment

Just over 1,350 jobseekers had registered with government’s new employment portal by 1 June, government officials said Friday.

Though there has been a surge in sign-ups since the start of the coronavirus crisis, senior officials from the new Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman agency acknowledged the numbers did not reflect the scale of the unemployment situation facing the country.

It is now mandatory for employers to advertise all positions on the online jobs portal and WORC’s acting director Jeremy Scott urged anyone who was out of a job to register.

“We know there is significant unemployment due to the current conditions and that the downturn in the economy has affected people in many different ways,” he said. “The numbers may seem a little lower than what you might expect but there has been a significant amount of people signing up in the last few months.”

According to Scott, 1,697 employers have registered with the jobs portal.

All jobs must now be advertised on the site for 14 days before a business can seek a work permit.

Scott said it was in the best interests of anyone looking for work to register.

Answering criticism that the portal is confusing and difficult to navigate, deputy director of business operations Kyle McLean acknowledged there had been some negative feedback.

He said information on how to register was available at www.worc.ky and a customer care team was on hand to assist.

Scott said his team had also been out on the road with the Needs Assessment Unit encouraging people to register and assisting them with the process.

WORC is also launching or relaunching a number of schemes to get jobless Caymanians into training.

So far, there have been 20 applications for the new Ready2Work scheme, which provides work-readiness training and employment placements. A new cohort of the Passport2Success job readiness programme for young people begins via Zoom with 20 students on Monday.

Dianne Conolly, manager of training and development for WORC, said a partnership with the Marriott resort to help prepare Caymanians for jobs in the hotel industry would also be launched shortly, and WineSchool3 is linking with WORC to help provide bartender certifications.

Work permits

The WORC department has also continued to process work permits throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Scott said around 1,500 permits had been cancelled since the lockdown began.

The deadline for renewal of expired work permits has been extended until 30 June. Any business applying to renew work permits must first advertise the position on JobsCayman portal for at least 14 days before any work permit renewal applications can be made.

“No action will be taken against an employer or worker who has continued working with an expired work permit provided that the employer applied for a work permit renewal (or grant in the case of temporary work permits) before the deadline of 30 June,” WORC stated in a press release.

For more information or assistance, contact WORC Customer Care by texting 925-7199, calling the call centre at 945-9672 or emailing [email protected].

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