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The Hon. Tara Rivers, Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs, Mr. Winston Connolly, Councillor, Ministry of Education, and Mrs. Mary Rodrigues, Chief Officer, Ministry of Education, with the 23 graduates of P2S Cohort #11, programme coordinators and programme sponsors.

... develops professional skills as well as belief in themselves and their abilities ...

Hon. Tara Rivers

Published 19th July 2013, 8:19am

On Monday, 8 July 2013, twenty three young people seeking to improve their chances of employability graduated from Passport2Success (P2S) Cohort 11, at a ceremony held at The Wharf Restaurant.

This was the second group this year to complete the 12-week employment preparedness programme. The participants received practical hands-on training in occupational, personal and job-specific skills. Work placements also offered a chance to impress potential employers, and earn a monthly stipend, including potential performance related bonuses.

Programme Facilitator Hylton Grace said that although each cohort has unique dynamics, “we consistently try to meet the various needs of our expanding clientele. Cohort 11 was diverse and complex with varying backgrounds, yet, they persevered and today we have a group of individuals who are determined and highly motivated to continue making positive changes in their lives.”

Now in its third year, P2S has prepared over 220 young Caymanians to enter the work force with professional-level competencies and renewed confidence.

On average 85 per cent of participants complete the programme, with around 35 per cent having already found work by graduation, and 61 per cent within a year of graduation. In the 12 months post-graduation, 18 per cent of graduates also report furthering their education.

Minister of Education, Hon. Tara Rivers, Councillor Winston Connolly, Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues, sponsors, internship providers and family members, were among the guests at the recent ceremony.

During the luncheon, participants described how the programme had helped them to improve their professional and personal skills. Graduate Romaine Knight said, “The programme was a really good learning experience and Mr. Hylton Grace in particular was a great mentor.”

Along with celebrating the graduates, Kirk Freeport was also recognised for their outstanding contribution to Passport2Success since its inception. Kirk Freeport provides gift bags for the special awards at every graduation and assists with teaching the participants of each cohort how to dress for success and gives important make-up tips to the females of each group.

Commenting on their experiences, Minister Rivers remarked, “The Passport2Success programme provides a great opportunity for young people who are eager to be their best as they enter the workforce. By helping them to develop professional skills as well as belief in themselves and their abilities, it offers a considerable competitive advantage. I confirm my support of the programme to continue and look forward to experiencing more of our young Caymanians succeed not only in the work place but in their personal lives.”

For more information regarding the P2S programme, as well as application forms and start dates for the next cohort, visit www.passport2success.ky or Passport2Success Cayman Islands on Facebook.

The programme is a Ministry of Education initiative that is sponsored by Butterfield Bank and Webster’s Tours.

 

(GIS)