Ready2Work KY Pilot Project
Part of the Project Future programme, the Cayman Islands Government introduced Ready2Work KY in February 2016. With the initial proposal being made to the Government in November 2015, the project moved forward quickly, in large part, as a result of the strategic efforts that had already been made and work that had already been delivered as the Cayman Islands Government took steps to address unemployment.
Drawing on research and in collaboration with key stakeholders, this project piloted a concept for addressing unemployment that looked holistically at the challenges faced by those seeking to access and maintain employment. Unemployed Caymanians who took part in the pilot received access to:
- an assessment of skills, interest, abilities and any barriers to employment;
- soft and technical skills training;
- support with recruitment activities;
- guidance as they transitioned into employment;
- group support and individual coaching; and
- support to access services needed to address any barriers to employment.
Ready2Work KY delivered tangible results through the pilot project as participants took steps on their journey to access long-term employment. At the close of the pilot there were 89 active participants, 64 of whom were employed while others continued to engage in training, development and recruitment activities supported by the staff of the NWDA.
In addition to the number of persons who accessed employment over the course of the pilot, changes that are not so easily reported through hard data were noted. These include: an increase in the confidence level of participants’, improvements in the areas of communication and conflict resolution, and an increased ability to work well with others and in a team environment. It was noted that participants began taking greater responsibility for their actions and began to hold themselves accountable for their performance and their choices.
Employers said that having the support of the Ready2Work KY team as they sought to employ Caymanians was helpful. They shared that the support provided by the Ready2Work KY team allowed them greater flexibility to address their business needs without overlooking the developmental needs of new employees.
This project emphasised the importance of drawing on data to inform the direction of travel and was heavily informed by the findings of the Review of Employment Policy and Strategy in the Cayman Islands_IMCE Report of June 2015. By drawing on the data and recommendations contained in the June 2015 IMCE Report the various components of the pilot were identified. As highlighted in the IMCE report, one of the most important things that the Government can do to help unemployed Caymanians is to empower them with skills and support them to overcome any barriers. As such, employment programmes like Ready2Work KY must focus on creating long-term, sustainable change through the development of skills and by addressing barriers to employment.
By empowering Caymanians with the skills they need to access and maintain employment, the Government contributes to creating a community where people can independently access employment, successfully transition from one job to the other, and navigate the labour market on their own. Through programmes like Ready2Work KY the Cayman Islands Government is making lives better every day.