Around 700 unemployed people will benefit from a government initiative to give them short-term work during the Christmas season.
However, due to an “overwhelming response” to the offer, managers of the three-week National Community Enhancement Project (NiCE) said many of the Caymanians who applied will only be hired for one week of work. A team of 70 workers was selected during orientation on Monday to work for the entire duration of the project.
“This group will include those with supervisory experience, who will act as foremen for the assembled teams; and those who will be assigned to do necessary work at the landfill, but for consistence and safety reasons that work crew cannot be rotated,” managers of the programme stated in a release.
“As a result of high numbers, priority levels had to be used to process the applications. Therefore, the project could not accommodate persons who are spouses of Caymanians; those with permanent residence; or applicants who were younger than 18 years old.”
The NiCE project, a revamped version of the Christmas clean-up that existed under the previous UDP administration, cover repairs and maintenance, gardening, cleaning parks, beaches and roadside verges. It is touted as providing work for unemployed men and women before Christmas and early in the New Year, while enhancing the physical environment for the benefit of the community.
A similar project is already underway in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman under the supervision of District Administration.
The basic pay rate is $10/hour for the project that is run by a cross-ministerial team managed by Mark Bothwell, who is also the manager of the Public Works Department’s Parks and Cemeteries Section.
Government agencies involved include the National Roads Authority, the Department of Environmental Health, and the Public Works Department - in particular its Recreation, Parks and Cemeteries Section. The Office of the Deputy Governor is providing administrative coordination.
The three-week project will run until 18 December, then resume on 11 January with participants working from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.