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Published 6th April 2010, 12:53pm

School leavers and young people who are lacking in basic personal and career skills may get the chance to improve their employability thanks to a new employment initiative by the Ministry of Education, Training and Employment. The programme is sponsored by local telecommunications provider LIME and Cayman based recruitment firm, CML Offshore Recruitment. The new initiative, Passport2Success, is a National Employment Passport Programme (NEPP). Each participant receives a mock 'passport', and earns stamps in it for successfully completing parts of the training programme. Each stamp tells a potential employer that the passport holder is skilled in a particular area. Hon. Rolston Anglin, JP, Minister of Education, Training and Employment, explains, "My Ministry's research among local employers confirmed that large numbers of high school graduates in the Cayman Islands have not been meeting basic skill standards in important areas such as literacy, communication, problem solving and working in teams." The Minister continued, "Increasingly, entry level positions in the workforce require higher levels of education and so the government has introduced Passport2Success as a remedial measure." To succeed on the Passport2Success programme, participants are required to be actively looking to improve their skills and demonstrate a commitment to hard work. In return, the programme will provide them practical training in job specific areas, work experience, exposure to employers and career guidance. Participants will also earn a monthly performance based stipend, which they have the potential to increase by reaching certain goals. Passport2Success is a full time programme, which runs for 11 weeks. The programme will use a face-to-face delivery method in a classroom style setting. It will be based at the International College of the Cayman Islands in Savannah Newlands. The programme is scheduled to run four times a year. Classes will be led by Lynne Banker, a seasoned human resources professional with extensive senior management level experience of working in Cayman's financial services sector. Ms. Banker says "The programme comprises various elements, such as education, employment workshops, work experience, community service and extracurricular activities such as attending service clubs, playing sports and even working towards obtaining a driving license." She adds, "The programme will also help participants improve on personal and social skills, such as dress, communication, behaviour and attitude". Passport2Success is truly a public-private partnership, in which local employers will play a significant role. Programme sponsor, Steve McIntosh, CEO of co-sponsor firm, CML Offshore Recruitment, says, "This programme relies on local employers for work placement opportunities and on the job training opportunities and we are appealing to local businesses to become involved." He continues, "It is a very manageable commitment for employers. As well as direct benefits to the company such as, easy access to young talent and good community relations, Passport2Success will benefit employers generally by improving general skill levels of the workforce and increasing employee retention." Dwayne Mellaneo, Head of Corporate Sales & Service for co-sponsor LIME, says, "We were very keen to get involved in the Passport2Success programme because, as a major local employer, we have a stake in helping to raise the general skill levels of young people to better equip them for the world of work." Mr. Mallaneo continued, "Now more than ever young people in Cayman need a positive focus. This programme will help provide that by giving them the opportunity to develop their personal and career skills. This has a wider social benefit to the community." Orientation for the programme is due to start on 12th April, with the first courses starting on the 19th April. To apply for a place on Passport2Success applicants must fill in and submit a registration form. Forms may be requested from the Wellness Centre by emailing info@wellnesscentre.ky or by calling 949-9355. It will soon be possible for applications to be made online at the programme website, www.passport2success.ky.