Single mothers stay the course on P2P

| 19/05/2015 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Minister Tara Rivers talks to P2P class

(CNS): All sixteen unemployed single mothers who started out on the government’s work ready programme, Passport2Success, in January this year stayed the course and graduated earlier this month. Five of the graduates have already secured employment and one is continuing with an internship. Another two of the young mums are pursuing further education at UCCI; one of them is beginning the Nursing Programme in September and the other a degree.

Employment Minister Tara Rivers said they had proven their commitment to the programme and their personal development, as she thanked the numerous people and organisations in making the government-led public/private partnership a possibility. Now in its fifth year, Passport2Success has prepared over 355 young Caymanians in 16 groups to enter the workforce with professional-level competencies and renewed confidence

“Over the past 16 cohorts, we have had many public and private sector businesses support Passport2Success by providing workshops, internships, job-shadowing placements and site visits,” she said. “This programme would not be the success it is today without the support of the business community, ensuring that the participants gain the real life knowledge they need to enter the workforce.”

This latest course provided opportunities for mentorship, community awareness and employment skills development. The community’s commitment to Passport2Success was overwhelming, officials said, and the women enjoyed guest speakers from a wide range of organisations, covering a diverse set of relevant topics. Childcare, relationships, nutrition, parenting, legal aid, HIV prevention, cervical cancer, self-care, and financial decision-making were just a few.  As well as taking part in PRIDE and Know Your Cayman Islands programmes, the young mums also took part in the Darkness2Light training, which teaches the five steps to protecting children from child sexual abuse and the Positive Discipline Parenting training.

May has also marked the 12th month reunion for the participants of students on the 13th cohort, which was also for single Caymanian mothers. Passport2Success Programme Coordinator and Director of The Wellness Centre Shannon Seymour said she was delighted to hear of their success of this cohort.

“I am excited to report that 68% of the graduates (13/19) are employed at present,” she said. “A positive pattern is emerging; of the three single mothers cohorts that have reached their 12-month reunion, 64%-68% of the participants of these cohorts have obtained employment by that time. I believe that while the needs of these cohorts are uniquely significant, the programme appears to yield consistently positive outcomes for this group.”

The latest group started the course on 27 April with 22 young Caymanians aged between 17 and 21. In response to the popularity of the programme and unemployment concerns for those under 24 as highlighted in the latest Labour Force Survey, the employment minister has extend the upper age limit for P2P to 22 years old, with a case-by-case approach to be taken by the facilitators for people aged 23-25 who have been recommended by the NWDA to be a part of the programme.

“The purpose of these training and employment programmes must be to respond to the needs of the community as presented,” Rivers stated. “As minister, my aim is to not only continue to build on the success of the Passport2Success programme thus far, but to also expand its reach as appropriate in order to better meet the needs of this critically important population – our young people.”

To address the low numbers of Passport2Success graduates who access higher education and training opportunities, a decision was made by the ministry last year to move the programme to the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) campus to provide better access to the college preparation transitional programme offered at UCCI. Whilst the main goal of the programme continues to be developing work skills, this move was made to instil a desire for lifelong learning.

Those wishing to apply for Cohort 18 which will be geared towards young Caymanians between the ages of 17-22 and starts in September 2015 should visitwww.passport2success.ky or contact the NWDA at nwda.training@gov.ky or 945-3114.

Sponsors Webster’s Tours provided free transportation for the participants and Butterfield Bank assisted with paying the participants their stipends each week.

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Category: Education, Jobs, Local News

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