55 people in jobs via Ready2Work

| 22/11/2016 | 23 Comments

(CNS): From over 100 participants in the government’s newest job placement scheme, just half of them have been placed in jobs so far and only half of those have permanent positions. There are 55 people who have been placed with employers through the Ready2Work initiative, with just 23 in long-term work and the rest in short-term posts. Another 56 people who signed up for the scheme are still in training and development, with almost 10% of the entire group struggling with barriers that prevent them from taking part.

The figures released by the employment ministry at a press meeting on Tuesday show that 137 people started on the programme, which began in February, but 26 people did not continue. On 18 November there were 111 active participants. From those, 55 are now working and 41 are in project-based training. One person is working part-time, three have secured internships or apprenticeships and 11 are being helped towards participation.

Speaking about the scheme, Dr Tasha Garcia-Ebanks told the local media that the initiative had faced  significant obstacles and challenges. Many of the people who signed up for Ready2Work were a long way from being able to work and presented myriad problems for the team.

From people with no health insurance who are suffering from health-related problems, including mental health challenges that have no way of accessing treatment, to a lack of understanding about what is required in the workplace, many barriers have been identified and not all of them can be solved by the National Workforce Development Agency.

The need for health insurance for those who are not in work is a major problem, as the Cayman health insurance system is tied to jobs and the unemployed struggle to get health cover. She also pointed out that some people wanting to participate are in serious difficulties and it is difficult for them to commit to the pre-work placement training when they are homeless and don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

She said many were already clients of the Needs Assessment Unit or people who ought to be clients of that department, which is also helping to support the project. Those with childcare issues are encouraged to seek help from the NAU but Garcia-Ebanks said that there were provisions in the Ready2Work budget to help participants that have no access to child care.

With the main aim of the project to get more locals in work and reduce the number of people relying on government welfare, the team has spent a considerable amount of time with some of the participants working on what were described as “soft skills or the interpersonal skills” required to navigate the workplace.

The aim, Garcia-Ebanks explained, was to keep trying and assisting those who need the most help. The main challenge to help those struggling to find and retain work remains a lack of basic skills and problems with attitude, which the inter-ministerial council on employment found in their report was the main reason why people are sacked.

Some particularly good news is that of the 50 or so bosses that are taking part in the scheme, which offers subsidies to employers to cover health and pension benefits as well as part of the pay for the trainees they take on, only 37% of them have applied for the financial support. This has left plenty of cash in the Ready2Work budget to take the pilot forward in the New Year with another group. So far, the project is working out at just $700 per head for those that have been placed in work, which Employment Minister Tara Rivers said was exceptionally good value for money.

With unemployment coming down to 5.6% among locals and the numbers of people signed up with the NWDA also falling, the key is to focus on those remaining unemployed Caymanains that need the most help. Following the completion of the pilot, Garcia-Ebanks said, the data collected ahead of the next intake will help inform the demographics of the unemployed and drill down to identify exactly what else government must do to create a modern workforce that employers want to recruit, with permit holders being a last resort.

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Category: Jobs, Local News

Comments (23)

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  1. Good governance says:

    Dr Tasha Ebanks-Garcia and Minister Rivers – congratulations. There are a lot of upskilling programmes for new (fresh graduates) and old job hunters. Tasha is working tirelessly and selflessly to improve employment opportunities in Cayman. Thank you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tara…great job! Keep up the good work protecting Caymanians. If you could have a word with CI Immigration about letting non-speaking unskilled peoples coming in from Honduras and other Central American countries take jobs. A bartender with big boobs and big butt is one thing…But a man/women pushing grocery carts or sweeping a floor. Horrible! Our own protectors are letting us down.

  3. Anonymous says:

    These programmes were started by former Minister Anglin and how many of the 55 are employed with companies being paid to hire them and how many of those companies are connected to Tara Rivers’ supporters and or C4C members?

    It’s really too bad we can’t go further with these articles but understand we don’t have true freedom of press.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Another failure by Tara Rivers and the ppm after nearly four years in office

    • Smithy says:

      I wonder if the 55 people who have found work would agree with you. They have been given an opportunity and seized it with both hands. What have you done to restore people’s self confidence and self worth?

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m truly happy for those 55 people who found work. However, I can’t help but wonder if the ReadytoWork program is an acknowledgement by PPM Government that we Caymanians have lost the battle when it comes to the employment for Caymanians who want to work and are capable of working.

        What program is in place to help all our returning Caymanian scholarship recipients get a job? Does Government even know how long it’s taking them to find jobs? Government continues to hire non Caymanians and has no plan for students they have invested in.

        What assistance is there for qualified experience unemployed Caymanians who are honest and actively seeking work and are blatantly being rejected by employers who are protecting their expat work permit employees?

        What plan is there to shatter the Cement ceiling for able and qualified working Caymanians to reach senior management of companies controlled by expats that are determined to keep those spots for one of their own?

        Until Government understands accepts and acts on these issues nothing will change.

        Maybe my few “entitled successful Caymanians” that think we should be glad for these employers and allow them to dominate senior positions while we settle for crumbs off their tables in junior positions will soon learn what Caymanians think about them at the polls in May 2017.

        • Anonymous says:

          9.28, for once, can’t you just show a little happiness that at least something is working and then suggest your own ideas separately? No wonder things are a mess…no one can agree on anything

        • Anonymous says:

          Very well put…I’m afraid our current government (Alden and Marco) focused on work permit revenues and budgetary surplus at the expense of long term job security for their people. They just aren’t intelligent enough to realize the damage they are doing to the long-term prospects in a declining market. The expatriates are truly the entitled and so far they can’t vote so lets make a change in May.

        • Veritas says:

          9.28am, I assume you are one of the entitled unsuccessful Caymanians.Maybe you should boot out all the expats in senior management and fill them with all these Caymanians with university degrees who cannot find a job. It won’t be long then, before our economy will be based on growing bananas.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just curious (and not trying to be mean for asking) but how much has it cost the territory to place just 55 people in jobs?

  6. Anonymous says:

    this is all relative.

    can there be more substantive information on the 55 placed how many are earning a salary that they can survive on in Cayman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      That really depends on their spending habits. Their needs versus their wants!

      • Anonymous says:

        $6 in Cayman goes nowhere….. compared to Jamaica and the Philippines, Honduras.

        there is a reason why they work here and send all their money home.


  7. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to Minister Rivers, the PPM government and the NWDA for making this happen and getting to the root of roadblocks preventing some people from working.

    • Anonymous says:

      Minister Rivers had nothing whatsoever to do with this. She paid no attention to unemployment. Search Tara Rivers and unemployment on google and tell me what policy she proposed that led to this?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sensible and commendable. Those that want to work but are ill or need training need a safety net for medical and emergency housing whilst they get on their feet. Can we not buy some of those emergency houses for short term stays?

  9. Annie says:

    The whole health insurance / pension scheme here is illogical, and hinders Caymanians from finding employment. Essentially you cannot hire part time employees in Cayman, as you are required to provide full time benefit to part time staff. Therefore no one will hire part time staff. Therefore businesses needing additional staff just overwork their full time people. It is so daft, but not surprising.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is by far one of the best jobs programme any government has developed.

  11. Smithy says:

    This is an admirable programme that is peeling off the layers of some of our societal problems. If only half the participants are successful it will restore their dignity and self worth. Kudos to the NWDA and the employers for providing the commitment and opportunity and to the government for investing in our people who need the most help. I look forward to more programs like this to help people upskill and advance.

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