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Hayward reveals ‘holistic’ jobs plan

Junior education minister Jason Hayward put forward workforce development plan (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Students and unemployed people will be helped into jobs through a workforce development plan, said senator Jason Hayward.

The junior education minister told the Upper House that a $300,000 government grant to Bermuda College had attracted a flurry of applications from out-of-work people, in response to a question from Senator Kathy Simmons, the Attorney-General.

Ms Simmons had asked if the Government intended to partner with the departments of workforce development and immigration to ensure that students who successfully complete courses are channelled into jobs.

Mr Hayward said: “The Government is planning to go a step further and put a holistic workforce development plan in place that would ensure there are direct pathways to connect with jobs.

“And that pathway is for persons leaving high school, pathways for people that are filtering through the Bermuda College and also pathways for persons who have been abroad and studied and seek employment in Bermuda.

“There are also going to be pathways within the workforce development plan that create avenues for persons that are currently unemployed and underemployed to upscale and also seek jobs, dignified jobs, within our society.”

Mr Hayward said the government grant — available to students in the Professional and Career Education programme for the first time — had led to 56 new registrants on courses.

He said 63 students from the PACE programme had made successful applications for funds.

Of these, 46 registered for open enrolment courses and 17 enrolled in the Mount Saint Vincent University business administration degree programme.

Mr Hayward said: “As you are aware, the PACE division of the Bermuda College serves the non-traditional students by offering both professional and workforce development training.

“As a result of the funding provided, this division received 56 new registrants of which the majority of the students were unemployed, while the remainder were temporary, seasonal and part-time employees.”

Mr Hayward said a total of $91,000 was provided to PACE students.

And he added that about $193,000 from the $300,000 grant to the Bermuda College had been spent to date, with the rest set aside to help students in the 2018 Spring semester.

The PLP had pledged “to provide financial support to students in need, to ensure access to Bermuda College for all Bermudians and increase job training to prepare Bermudians to fill jobs held by guest workers” during its first 100 days in office.

In addition to the PACE students, 126 students on academic courses were granted financial support for academic division courses, amounting to $102,000.