More than a hundred Caymanians are actively participating in government’s upskilling programme, Ready2Work KY. So far, about half have overcome obstacles to secure employment through the programme.
Speaking at a roundtable session this morning, employment ministry officials said the programme is delivering value for money.
Employment chief officer Dr. Tasha Ebanks-Garcia said government’s Ready2Work KY pilot programme is coming in well under its $1.66 million budget.
“Based on what we’ve spent on this programme to date, and based on the fact that we have 111 active participants to date, government’s investment in those 111 people has been $700 dollars each,” she said.
“Many companies didn’t actually take up the stipend opportunities, or they decided we just want the support, we’ll pay,” said Employment minister Tara Rivers.
Just 37% of the programme’s 48 employers have taken advantage of the subsidies available in the programme.
Minister Rivers said programmes like Ready2Work KY are one reason why employment rates have been on the decline.
“Those numbers are dropping and that’s a fact. The unemployment rate has gone down from 10.5% in 2012 to just over 5.6% for Caymanians,” said Ms. Rivers.
137 total persons started the Ready2Work KY programme. 26 left the programme entirely, and six withdrew and re-entered the programme at a later date. Of 111 active participants, around half are in training and development. The other half have moved on to the employment phase. Of the 55 in the employment phase, 58% are in short-term or temporary employment situations, he other 42 percent have graduated to long-term employment…
“This ministry and its departments cannot address all of the challenges that job seekers face,” said Dr. Ebanks-Garcia, alluding to the fact that there are resources in other ministries that could be helpful in addressing some participants’ barriers to employment.
Dr. Ebanks-Garcia said the Ready2Work KY programme will be evaluated, with an eye on cross-ministerial collaboration for the 2017 iteration of the programme.
$1.4 million of the programme’s $1.66 million budget was allocated to covering the employer subsidies.
Less than $80,000 dollars has been spent on the programme so far.