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Aspiring marine professionals now have the additional support needed to be trained to industry standards after the Premier of the Virgin Islands, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie launched the “Back to the Sea” Maritime Industry Training Programme on Wednesday, August 14.
“The BVI is already the sailing capital of the world, and together, we will claim our rightful place as the Mecca of the global marine industry. Therefore, all Virgin Islanders who wish to pursue a career in the marine industry by training at a legitimate accredited institution will be given the requisite support and encouragement to do so,” the Premier said.
The Premier as the Minister who is also responsible for Maritime Administration, spoke about the many career opportunities in the Marine Sector. He mentioned the description and salary ranges for Boat Mechanics Maritime Consultants, Marine Engineers and Naval Architects all of which have salaries ranging in the US from $27,800 to 148,950 annually.
The leader also spoke to the economic activities that could be derived from this investment. “But on the second level, as the marine industry grows, the influx of vessels, owners, crew and other personnel will stimulate activity in other areas. These persons will have a demand for food, beverages, clothing, marine supplies, long- and short-term accommodation, transport, entertainment, and much more. This means more business for the non-marine sector and job creation in those areas as well.”
Honourable Fahie gave the assurance that this programme is just one way the Government proposes to develop new economic pillars while strengthening the existing economic drivers. He said “the marine training initiative should not be viewed only as something that pertains to, or that will benefit, only those persons who have direct interests in the marine industry.”
The initiative is designed with two phases. The initial phase allows Government to support those candidates who would be accepted by an accredited programme in collaboration with the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) or other local training institutions that have provided accredited marine training locally. The Government will coordinate the programme through its partnership with all marine industry stakeholders and will assist the college with the necessary resources to fulfill its mandate as the Regional Centre for Excellence for Marine Studies within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
The second phase is the Government’s commitment come January 2020 to support those persons who may ask and be accepted to study further afield at accredited maritime training institutions beyond the shores of the Virgin Islands.
Interested persons can register their interests to be trained commencing Wednesday, August 21 when the Government will also launch its 1000 jobs in 1000 days initiative. Persons will also be able to register their interest in person when sessions are held in each district.
The training for the first cohort will commence in the Virgin Islands for those students who would have been accepted at HLSCC to begin September 2019.
Special accommodations will also be made to assist persons who may have difficulty with transportation during the course of their studies at HLSCC.
Premier Fahie encouraged all interested persons to take advantage of this opportunity. I want to encourage persons to contact the HLSCC for information on courses offered and to submit your applications to the college, as well as to complete the online registration of interest form.
He added, “Let me say that your Government is serious about transforming the BVI, creating hope and generating opportunities to improve the quality of lives of our citizens and to help them to build sustainable futures for themselves and their families.”
All good corporate citizens are encouraged to demonstrate their support for the trainees and apprentices.
- Photo 1:3- Photograph of Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie at the launch of the Maritime Industry Training Programme. (Photo credit: Ronnielle Frazer)
- Photo 2:3 (L-R) – Ag. Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Mrs. Geraldine Ritter-Freeman, Assistant Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Mr. Malvern Brathwaite, Dean of Workforce Training at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, Mrs. Bernadine Louis Dean and Premier, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie.
- Crowd shot at the launch of the Maritime Industry Training Programme