Port Preparing For Next 50 Years

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Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Business and International Transport, Gabrielle Springer, addressing the awards ceremony. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Staff development, education and training are high on the list of priorities for the Bridgetown Port Inc. as it aims to remain competitive.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Business and International Transport, Gabrielle Springer, said that in addition to training received through the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) in Jamaica, the Port was also working with other specialist organisations and suppliers to conduct the requisite training.

"The skills and competencies learned through these training programmes are being transferred to the workplace, and improvements are being realised in equipment maintenance and safety at the Port," she stated.

Speaking at the Port’s 50th Anniversary Schools’ Essay Competition awards ceremony at Hilton Barbados yesterday, Ms. Springer stressed that on-going training was at the heart of the Port’s human resource development strategy, especially with an ageing staff in specialist positions.

However, she pointed out that there were six cadets currently enrolled in a training programme at the CMI to develop the skills required to prepare for the retirement of employees in such specialist positions as marine engineers, tug captains and pilots.

The Permanent Secretary added that cargo handling was one of the Port’s key areas of operation, and the training of deck hands, container handling operators and crane operators was at the forefront of the CMI programme. She noted that engineering and maintenance staff would benefit also from training.

Ms. Springer further pointed out that over 250 of the company’s 600 employees were exposed to training over the past year in various areas of operations.

She said the Port was presently positioning itself to meet the challenges of the next 50 years.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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