Sat | Jan 28, 2023

Carib Cement gives employment training to persons with disabilities

Published:Monday | December 5, 2022 | 12:08 AM
Yago Castro (left), managing director of Caribbean Cement Company Limited, with (from second left) Amerilis Cain, Sandrean Bailey, and Abigail Grant, who are participants of the cement company’s employment workshop for persons with disabilities. Others a
Yago Castro (left), managing director of Caribbean Cement Company Limited, with (from second left) Amerilis Cain, Sandrean Bailey, and Abigail Grant, who are participants of the cement company’s employment workshop for persons with disabilities. Others are Andrés Pérez (second right), chargé d’affaires at the Colombian Embassy and Jorge Camelo, human resources director.

Living with a disability has hampered Amerilis Cain from gaining employment, but she believes that participation in the Caribbean Cement Company Limited’s pilot workshop for employment for persons with disabilities will improve her chances.

“I am looking forward to this initiative. I think it is a great opportunity to integrate myself into the work world,” she noted.

“I have been turned down a lot in seeking employment because of my disability. So, this will create more avenues for me,” she added.

Cain, who has been certified in housekeeping, was born with a deformed arm and is from the community of Jack Vale in 10 Miles, Bull Bay, St Andrew.

Another participant, 22-year-old Abigail Grant, who has challenges with her eyesight, also welcomed the cement company’s initiative.

Both women are part of a cohort of four participating in the workshop, which was organised in collaboration with the Embassy of Colombia, whose former Ambassador Jairo Clopatofsky uses a wheelchair.

For a period of two weeks, the participants will be guided by trained instructors in topics covering understanding the employment application process, interviewing for a job and time management essentials, among other related areas.

Once completed, they will be certified and one person given a period of employment at Carib Cement.

Managing Director Yago Castro explained that this workshop fits into the company’s efforts of becoming a more diverse and inclusive work environment.

“We believe in building a diverse and inclusive environment and want to extend this practice not just to our employees, but to those we serve in society. This will allow for greater economic and social growth among the people. This move is a step in that direction,” he said.

Castro was speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop at the cement company’s sports club at Rockfort, Kingston, on November 29.

As part of its diversity and inclusion plan, Carib Cement has introduced a lactation room for breastfeeding women, introduced paternity leave, and made changes to recruitment to ensure an unbiased process.

Meanwhile, Andrés Pérez, chargé d’affaires at the Colombian Embassy, hailed Carib Cement for its efforts to becoming more inclusive and diverse, especially for moving ahead with the workshop.

“Creating more inclusive spaces is how we build more resilient and better societies,” Pérez noted.