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Minister Anglin gives some important advice to the participants of Cohort 9

Published 6th September 2012, 2:28pm

On Monday September 3rd, Minister of Education, Training & Employment, Hon. Rolston Anglin, JP and Chief Officer of Education Mrs. Mary Rodrigues welcomed the 25 new participants of the 9th Passport2Success cohort. This cohort is for young Caymanians between the ages of 17-20 years.

Launched by the Education Ministry in 2010, Passport2Success has had an impressive record of helping unemployed youth to tackle barriers that have kept them from getting and maintaining jobs. It is a locally-developed programme that provides a unique blend of skill-development with personal and group counselling, work experience, community service, and a focus on personal development, attitudinal change and work readiness.

Gathering at ICCI, the current home of the programme, participants listened to the messages from Minister Anglin and Mrs. Rodrigues, encouraging them to take advantage of all the programme has to offer and to persevere and complete the programme and set themselves up for success.

Mrs. Rodrigues encouraged the group to consider Passport2Success a clear statement from the Ministry and community that as young people they matter and deserve a second chance. “We have opened the door for you, we will do everything to support you, but only you can make the changes necessary to leave this programme in a different and better position than when you came in,” Mrs. Rodrigues stated.

Minister Anglin also challenged the new group to take advantage of everything this programme has to offer, have the right mindset and stay focused until that job opportunity comes, even if it isn’t immediately after they finish Passport2Success.

“Life comes down to the choices made by every one of you – you are the only person who can control you. If you put your all into the programme you will reap the benefits,” he stated.

Minister Anglin explained that the programme is modelled on real life, where participants who don’t follow the rules and make the effort to improve will be asked to leave. He said, “Just like in real life, if you do something wrong, there are consequences.” The Minister also encouraged participants to embrace opportunities for entry-level positions, and, as a particular focus, opportunities in the hospitality industry. He reflected on how often pride is what keeps people from taking up these opportunities. He reminded the group, “Remember, you can’t take Pride to the supermarket!”

Passport2Success has developed an excellent reputation in the business community with 55 companies providing some form of support in the last four cohorts by either sponsoring the program, guest speaking to the participants, providing site visits so participants can see how different businesses operate and/or work experience placements.

Passport2Success has seen 157 young Caymanians graduate from the course, out of 186 that originally started the programme (84%). Currently 78 (50%) of those graduates are either employed or in an internship, and 37 graduates (24%) are either attending school or seeking further education. That means 73% of the graduates are either engaged in employment or education.

This year, Passport2Success will offer two cohorts for Caymanians between the ages of 17-20 (the second one will start in April 2013) and one cohort for Caymanian Single Mother’s which will begin in January 2012.

For more information on Passport2Success or to apply to the programme, please visit www.passport2success.ky or visit Passport2Success on Facebook.