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The first group to have all chosen students completing the 12 week course.

Published 29th July 2014, 3:6pm

The most recent Passport2Success graduation ceremony, on Monday 21 July 2014, marked a significant milestone for the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs’ initiative.

For the first time, every participant who commenced the 12-week programme also completed it.

Mrs. Shannon Seymour, from The Wellness Centre which coordinates the programme for the Ministry, opened the ceremony by congratulating the 24 participants.

“The 14th cohort set out with determination to accomplish several goals. We are extremely proud of everyone who succeeded!” Mrs. Seymour said.

Proud parents, Ministry officials, as well private and public sector individuals, involved in the initiative, watched as the group received their Passports to Success.

Several graduates gave details of their Passport2Success experience through poems, song and testimonials. Winner of the Most Outstanding Participant award Mr. Alfredo Cardoza Chow spoke about his entry-level job shadowing and work experience saying, “When I was placed at my job shadowing, which was at Burger King on the waterfront I thought it was going to be easy. But what I learned was that the staff at Burger King doesn’t have it as easy as we think! They have to be very specific about hygiene, watching the orders come in, preparing the orders and being very specific so they don’t make mistakes.”

He continued, “I did my internship at Business Solutions Technology Group. My first career interest was accounting, but when I started working in my internship with fibre optics I gained a passion for this type of work. I learned so many things, like how to connect cable boxes, install internet and how to set an antenna. I felt very passionate about this work because my dad is an electrician. The people I worked with were very nice and they took their time to teach me things each day. When I asked questions they were helpful and took their time to explain and answer my questions. It was a great learning experience for me. I felt proud of myself because I really accomplished something positive on my internship.”

Congratulating each of the graduates on their strong communication skills, and the talent that they displayed during the ceremony, Education Minister, Hon. Tara Rivers, added “The programme is not an easy one. It is designed to instil a sense of pride and a strong work ethic in each person that participates in the programme. We are always impressed and touched by all the personal testimonials of the young people at the graduation ceremonies.”

The programme’s successes include a 90 percent average rate of graduation, a 32 percent average rate of employment at graduation and a 54 percent average rate of employment 12 months after graduation. Mrs. Shannon Seymour stated, “These statistics prove that graduates of Passport2Success are continuing to use the skills they have learned and developed well after they have left the programme. It also proves that the programme is working and helping our young Caymanians obtain employment and also maintain it as many of our graduates have been in jobs for over a year now.”

For more information in regards to Passport2Success, as well as application forms and dates in regards to the start of the next programme, visit www.passport2success.ky or contact the National Workforce Development Agency at 945-3114.

Sidebar: Passport2Success Programme

The National Employment Passport2Success Programme is a Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs initiative that runs three times a year. The employment preparedness course offers a 12 week programme for 17 to 21-year-old Caymanians and a 16 week programme for Caymanian Single Mothers, both designed to enhance workplace readiness skills and increase the employability of its participants. The programme is sponsored by Butterfield Bank and Webster’s Tours.,

Each participant attending the course receives practical hands-on training, valuable work experience, better occupational, personal and job-specific skills, as well as gaining a clear idea of what kind of job suits them and a chance to impress potential employers. Participants receive a weekly stipend (pay) with potential performance related bonuses.

Source: Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs