September 16, 2021

Cayman Islands’ Ready2Work KY off to a positive start

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premier-and-dg_project-future-e1446846126740GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands – Work initiative Ready2Work KY launched on Monday and on Tuesday members of the Ready2Work KY Task Force that will ensure meaningful dialogue is held between the private sector and unemployed Caymanians had their inaugural meeting.
The task force is comprised of public and private sector members and is co-chaired by Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin and Managing Director of Foster’s Food Fair IGA Woody Foster. Other members include Education and Employment Minister Hon. Tara Rivers, private sector members Chamber President Paul Pearson, Mark Vandevelde, Garth Arch, Mark McIntyre and Betty Baraud, Community Affairs, Youth and Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden and Deputy Chief Officer, Strategic Reforms Dr. Tasha Ebanks-Garcia. Ex-officio members are Senior Political Advisor to the Premier Roy Tatum and Ready2Work KY Coordinator Tania Ebanks.
“Since taking office, this Government has strategically focused on addressing the issue of Caymanian unemployment through creating a stable environment for economic growth,” said Premier McLaughlin. “This has resulted in unemployment numbers for Caymanians being reduced from 9.4 per cent in 2013 to 7.9 per cent in 2014 and we are anticipating it will be even lower in a few weeks when the next semi-annual economic report comes out. However, there is a segment of our society for which more can be done to assist them in breaking through the barriers to meaningful full time employment. The Ready2Work KY initiative is the first of three approaches that Government is undertaking in this regard.”
Mr. Foster said, “I am am excited to work on this initiative and give it everything I have to assist in putting Caymanians to work in a sustainable way.”
job-puzzleA brief history of the Ready2Work KY initiative includes the following:
• In July 2014 Cabinet approved the creation of the Inter-Ministerial committee on Employment (IMCE) to promote better collaboration between the Cayman Islands Government agencies to address the needs of the country in relation to the unemployment of Caymanians.
• In June 2015 IMCE issued its report, Review of Employment Policy and Strategy in the Cayman Islands, which was a critical step in a larger plan to address unemployment because it gave Government the information it needed to make informed decisions on employment policy, programmes and projects.
• By July 2015 the NWDA was in a position to serve as a valued partner and facilitator in the training, development and employment of Caymanians. Government also developed a strategy that focuses on addressing unemployment today while keeping the long-term plan in site.
• The work of the IMCE became part of a Project Future initiative on unemployment among Caymanians and has culminated with plans around broad strategies to tackle unemployment. These were presented to Government Caucus and Cabinet late last year and received approval to proceed. Out of this was developed the Ready2Work KY initiative.
• In December 2015 and January 2016 the programme was presented to private sector businesses, which gave their approval and made suggested improvements. These have culminated in what has become the Ready2Work KY initiative.
Mr. McLaughlin said he was extremely pleased regarding the enthusiastic feedback from business leaders and their willingness to participate.
“As of today we have several quality business leaders coming forward to work with Government and to help lead the way with the Ready2Work KY programme,” Mr. McLaughlin said.
Ready2Work KY will bridge the gap between unemployed Caymanians and the labour market. It is a public/private sectors initiative that supports employers as they seek to make their best efforts to employ Caymanians and supports unemployed Caymanians as they seek to access employment.
The project delivers an employment and welfare-to-work initiative that connects unemployed Caymanians with short term employment opportunities in the private sector that are designed to lead to long term employment while providing support and training based on need in order to support Caymanians in accessing and maintaining employment.
The initiative is subsidized by the Cayman Islands Government and delivered in partnership with the private sector.
“This employment and welfare to work initiative lets Government address the issue of unemployment head on by matching private sector employers with unemployed Caymanians,” said Ms Rivers.
Over the course of the next few weeks the Ready2Work KY Task Force will work with interested businesses to roll out the programme to ensure individuals moving into potential jobs have been property vetted to better match employers to employees.
A press conference to further update the media and the public on the successes of Ready2Work KY will be held later this month.
“I thank Mr. Foster for joining me as co-chair of the task force as well as the private sector leaders who have stepped up to the plate and given advice and guidance on how to make the programme even more successful. Their input is greatly appreciated,” said Mr. McLaughlin. “I also thank Minister Rivers, Chief Officer Christen Suckoo and particularly Dr. Tasha Ebanks-Garcia and their team for their hard work in putting the programme together. I must also acknowledge the cross-ministerial work done on this and thank Community Affairs Minister Hon. Osbourne Bodden and his Ministry as well as the teams at the National Workforce Development Agency and Needs Assessment Unit for their work in making this successful.”
To learn more about Ready2Work KY log on to www.ready2work-ky.com
IMAGE: From Press Conference Nov 2 2015

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