Most jobless are work ready, say officials

| 12/04/2016 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service

Dr Tasha Ebanks-Garcia

(CNS): The employment ministry has said that the majority of people who have registered with the National Workforce Development Agency and looking for jobs are ready for work and it is just a small percentage of the officially recorded unemployed that are not yet in a position to fit the demands of the workforce. While more than 1,000 people are registered with the agency, most of those have not sought any direct support from the NWDA and are simply accessing the job portal and trying to find work under their own steam.

But from a group of just 139 people who have asked the government agency to help them, 98% will need training and support before employers are likely to take them on, officials have confirmed.

Following the release of a report from government, Review of Employment Policy and Strategy in the Cayman Islands, which revealed the findings of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Employment (IMCE) regarding the broader situation on unemployment in Cayman, officials said that the figures from a survey of a small section of those registered with the agency were misinterpreted.

“Unfortunately, it has been erroneously reported that 98 per cent of the clients registered with the National Workforce Development Agency (NWDA) are not work ready; this simply is not true,” said Tasha Ebanks-Garcia, the deputy chief officer in the employment ministry. “The NWDA has over 1,000 registered job seekers and a small group of 139 who self-identify as needing support were assessed and it was 98 per cent of that 139 who were identified as not being work ready due to having multiple barriers to employment. Those barriers include skills deficits, lack of experience, the challenge of balancing family needs with employment responsibilities and soft skills deficits.”

The government has produced two short videos about unemployment and what the government and NWDA is doing to help. Ebanks-Garcia  stressedthe importance of the new report and the information in it that will help shape future policy, such as the ‘Ready2Work KY’ initiative to help those struggling to find work, as well as initiatives to help people keep their jobs and ensure that they are not underemployed or blocked from advancing.

“We needed empirical data to help us prioritise and plan new initiatives to deal with the challenges that the unemployed in our community are facing,” Ebanks-Garcia said. “What we’re finding is that some of the barriers to employment have changed over the years as the social and economic issues of the country have evolved, and so it was necessary to better understand what we’re up against in 2016 as opposed to the problems we had a decade ago.”

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Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Try changing your accent to american or english when you apply for the position. Thats how old Caymanians did it during the depression and world war.

  2. Anonymous says:

    When is the Ministry for Education going to start emphasizing education??!

    For all those having issues applying for jobs, I remember a few years ago there being an article on CNS about the government confirming that there is no current position or department that is responsible for ensuring that there is fair hiring practices….is this still the case? If there is a such a person / department then make your complaint and follow up…done!

  3. Anonymous says:

    And the hate continues and will get worse moving forward to May 2017. What a hateful place your politicians have created.

  4. Disappointed says:

    Bunch of jackasses, they are no help to us. All they love to do is to blow their own horns and appears as if they are of any help to us. In our estimation they are clueless and that department NWDA should be closed. All they have offered is FALSE hopes. No help to Caymanians. We have been looking a job for over 16 months and only receives promises. That department do not care, I guess because they take home a fat salary for doing nothing. A clueless bunch.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope you are looking a job as a helper…if for something greater, you might want to work on your communication skills. How many of you have been looking a job for 16 months.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can’t be looking that hard if you have been looking for “16 months.” I would presume that the jobs you want you are not qualified for maybe? Take what you can get til you can be where you want to be. I’m Caymanian 100% (I’m 24) I started out working for crap money just for the experience and it has been worth it.

      Best of luck in your search, I can appreciate your frustration.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Show of hands; how many Caymanians have sought assistance from any of the temp agencies and actually receive more than just a basic meeting a few standard tests to do? I have seen where these same temp agencies have written over and perfected resumes of expats (and by expats I mean persons who have never been to the Cayman Islands before) and ensure that the resume is written properly and is more than appealing. Can’t say I have seen the same for Caymanians who have sought their assistance

    • Jotnar says:

      The agencies get the same commission irrespective of whether the candidate is foreign or domestic. And if the employer doesn’t hire, their fee is zero, and for the employer to hire a foreigner he has to bite on the WP fee, the relocation expenses etc. So its must be obvious that the agencies are spending more time and effort to craft the foreign candidates CV than the local guy, right? Of course, because its all part of a conspiracy.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have been trying to find a Caymanian Employee to fill a position. We have placed ad’s in the paper…Placed ads at the NWDA and didn’t get any responses. We contacted a temp agency and they proposed 2 Caymanian applicants..1 was not even close to having the needed expertise even though well educated. The other we interviewed and she told me outright that she probably would not stay for long and was not able to answer most of our questions.

  6. Concerned says:

    As an employer, it is always my first preference to hire locally. Having done so, we have met very unscrupulous local folks. Incident after incident. The work ethic is not an acceptable standard. This must be taught at home, school etc. You cant come to work, clock in, eat your breakfast, comb your hair, work for 10 mins, then chat, use your cell phone……etc…….and expect to keep a job. I have also used the NWDA site for posting jobs. Out of 15 applicants NONE were qualified for the post. I did call in 2 applicants for an interview as a possible opportunity to train, but one was late for the interview and the other did not show up!!!

    For the 1000 job seekers, I don’t believe for a minute they are qualified.
    Business owners should be able to hire the “BEST” person to assist them in running their business, not just bodies to satisfy the NWDA numbers.

  7. Anonymous says:

    They’re “work ready” for jobs they don’t want to do. There ARE jobs out there, it’s just not up to the “unemployed” standards. If you need/want to work that bad, sometimes you have to settle until you can do better.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How can she attest that they are all ready to work if they have not all have been assessed? I am so disappointed with this ministry of education, how can they help Cayman if they can’t properly address the issues?

  9. Anonymous says:

    And then I submit a work permit application and get a refusal noting that I should instead employ Caymanian xXxXx and when I do, Caymanian xXxXx steals the company vehicle on 3 occasions in the middle of the night. Great.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think once anyone has opened their eyes, no one will be able to blame you. I moved to what every person in Cayman will say is a third world country, my life is 150% better. From the basic necessities such as food, to the cost of living and every day life, to healthcare and leisure and work opportunity. Now that I live in one of the poorest countries in the world, I have realized how shockingly poor Cayman has become, in every sense of the word.

  11. Anonymous says:

    As a social worker I have to burst this woman’s bubble since most of the people I encounter are not work ready. They want a job , sometimes get one and almost never ever manage to sustain the discipline of getting up each morning and going out to work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you are quick to criticise rather than do your job to help your clients.

      • Anonymous says:

        She said she was a social worker not a miracle worker.

      • Anonymous says:

        Excuse me! The way I read the 9.23 post. There was not criticism just a social worker telling it as it is on the ground.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is it her job to get them up in the morning and hold their hands as they get to work? It’s exactly your attitude that is part of the problem. It’s always someone else’s fault isn’t it?

  12. Jotnar says:

    As for credibility, I have grave concerns about your Bsc (sic – you cannot even use the correct designation for your claimed degree?) given the standard of English displayed in your post, and I am struggling to believe that someone advising a room full of Caymanians on seeking employment would tell them that their best chance was not to be Caymanian. What would the lecturer expect them to do – revoke their status? Makes no sense. You must also be the first person I have seen refer to themselves as a “paper” Caymanian other than in jest or irony. I smell a rat.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Government should stay out of how people run their businesses. The alternative. Outsourcing! I’d like to see a study of not how many jobs have been created but how many jobs have gone to other jurisdictions as a consequence of the archaic labor laws and interference.

  14. Anonymous says:

    erroneously reported? there we go again. Are they ready or not?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Just because only 139 self identify as needing support does not mean the other 1000 don’t need it as well.

    Training and retraining is the answer.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I am a Paper Caymanian by marriage for 13 plus years still married to my born Caymanian husband. I hold a Bsc Degree with a professional designation with 6 years experience. I was in the first round of individuals of this so called “ready2work KY” program as I have been unemployed for more than 7 months and registered with NWDA since. I was in total shock when this lady addressed a whole room full of job seekers telling us our best bet to get a job is not being Caymanian. I looked around the room briefly to see if maybe I did not hear correctly and could see the stunned look on most faces. I was thinking this lady has no credibility in my books, then I realized it is true because when I was on permit I had no problems getting a job. It is unfortunate now that I have to leave this Island now because the cost of living is very high and one income cannot make it for a family of five. The government can fix this issue very easy just by closing the glaring loopholes in the immigration law and enforcing the laws that are already in place along with closing down these so called “Temp Agency’s”. How do they get away with what they do, I have no clue, but as long as company’s can exploit cheap labor without any penalty, it will continue to be done. As for my kids whom are all CAYMANIAN..I will be setting the foundation for them to leave their land of birth because the writing is on the wall on what is to come for the next generation. Love you all and may God Bless the people of this island.

    • Anonymous says:

      I couldn’t agree more….it appears to me the government is ignoring the laws and regulations for the sake of work permit fees. Don’t even bother trying to report breaches of the laws as immigration enforcement couldn’t be less concerned and are happy doing absolutely nothing for their salaries. Enforcement only exists if a relative or friend is interested in the position. Not their fault as this is the message the government has given to everyone having indicated they don’t mind giving management permits as it creates lower level jobs for Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        The ignorance might be intentional. You have to realize too that without work permit revenue, Government has less money to run our Island properly. Most on here will not like this but a payroll tax would be better if applied to everyone, expat and Caymanian alike. That way, Government has no need to favour granting work permits for revenue. A simple broadening of its revenue base by lowering import duty rates/fixed permit fees and implementing a basic payroll tax would smooth things out more fairly for everyone in more than one way.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so right with your assesment 10:46. Literally there are 100’s of positions being grabbed by the temp agencies- and immigration continues to issue these 3 month permits , which turn into 6 then 9 and repeats.
      Here’s how the system works – Job application comes in from UK / Ireland typically a 25 yr old with no real experience. Goes on agency payroll at $15 an hour or less. Agency has a link with the top Banks and law firms who pay the agency $30 to 35/ hour. After 2 to 3 years of repeating this process the newbie 25 yr old has built his/her resume sufficiently to apply for a 3 year GOL . Immigration will grant it on the back of a BS cover letter from the agency. The agency collects 3 months salary from the emloyer upon grant of the GOL and steps back and finds another 25 year old to repeat the process. There are certain agencies that have succesfully got 9 years of temp work for candidates !! The final result is that young college educated Caymanians have been completely shut out from the system.
      I have been in the financial industry for 2 decades in managerial positions – I know these things for a fact.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh purlease…the only reason why temp agencies exist is to fill the gap. Another blame game.

      • A nony mouse says:

        The conspiracy deepens… lol – I am rolling my eyes so hard right now. Are you suggesting that Caymanian’s shouldn’t have to lower themselves to temp work to build their experience? or Are you suggesting that the agencies wont use Caymanian’s who are good (and presumably more profitable to them as they dont need to pay WP fee)? or are you suggesting that college educated Caymanians can’t compete with the quality of Irish/UK college educated kids?

      • Jessica says:

        Thank you 9:35am.

        Well said; of course expats do not want to hear this!

        I have nothing against foreigners, I am a foreigner too when I leave Cayman for travel but for the last 15+ years we have not been getting the best quality of expats….jus saying.

        They see Cayman as an opportunity and seize it, it’s not about contributing to Cayman for them but what they can gain while here.

        • Jotnar says:

          Because as an expat who is told at the outset that you are unlikely to be allowed to remain, that your WP could be revoked at any time if a Caymanian wants your job when the WP is renewed, and even if you survive for 9 years your application for residence will go into a black hole leaving you in a position where at any minute you could be given 3 months to sell your house, relocate your family and leave – and all of that is meant to be conducive to you wanting to contribute to Cayman?

          By all means treat expats as fodder, but don’t bitch about them not being committed to Cayman and simply wanting to maximise what they can whilst they are allowed to remain.

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps locals should also register with the temp agencies?

        • Anonymous says:

          I am a local and was registered with a temp agency after I was laid off from my job due to the business being closed. I have over 12 years experience in the financial industry with majority working in investor services, and at not point the agent referred me for a investor services job even though I saw positions on their website. I know of one person who was told by the agency that she would never get a permanent job on the island. This is just a money making scheme and the Corporations do not have to account for the number of expat workers that work for them. These temp agencies are modern days slave drivers.

    • Anonymous says:

      If she really said that she should be fired for fuelling the fires of division and discrimination.

    • Anonymous says:

      I call BS on this post. Who uses the term ‘Paper Caymanian’ about themselves? Bsc (sic)? What professional designation? You are clearly a Caymanian spreading untruths in order to create further divisions in our society. Why not try being part of the solution rather than exacerbating the problem.

    • Anony says:

      Hi Anonymous, I am very sorry that you are experiencing difficulties in finding employment. but it’s great that you have correctly concluded that your lack of employment is part of the massive, ongoing anti-CAYMANIAN (caps required for no obvious reason) conspiracy being perpetrated in front of our eyes.

      The conspiracy now runs so deep that employers are even able to sniff out paper CAYMANIANS (why do I keep shouting that word?) – this is not that shocking as I believe that employers are now addicted to paying extra fees and running the administrative gauntlet with the immigration department. It is possibly a fact that an addiction to extra administration starts with a gate-way piece of admin work, like getting a trade and business license, but then employers find that the rush is too great not to move on to more exciting stuff, like employing furriners.

      I also note that you have correctly concluded that grammar, syntax and spelling are all part of the colonial system of oppression that needs to be resisted at every opportunity. If people with Bsc degrees won’t oppose the correct use of the English language then who will?

      May god forever bless us all and keep us safe from homos – whose wicked acts continue to be a stain on our perfect paradise. May they all burn in the fiery furnace of hell – with demons poking them and taunting them with poor fashion choices.

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