Minister??of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, speaking to the media during the press briefing. At left is Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry, Valerie Browne, and at right is Chairperson of the Maritime Week Planning Committee, Jacqueline Blackman.

A call has been made for more young persons to consider careers in the maritime industry.

It has come from Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, who has stressed that opportunities existed for entry-level posts as well as those in professional categories.

He stressed that young persons needed not only to think of "base opportunities," but to consider the potential for progression and promotion.

"Cruise ships are like floating hotels so whatever jobs you can think of in hotels are available onboard," he surmised.

The Minister, who was at the time speaking to the press at the launch of Maritime Week which begins this Sunday, September 20 and ends on Saturday, September 26, recalled that in the past, numerous Barbadian families were supported by seamen, who spent three to four months at a time at sea, and then returned to their families.

"Those opportunities still exist in expanded form," he underlined.

Minister Hutson noted that while only 160 Barbadians were currently employed on cruise ships, those from other Caribbean islands could be found in larger numbers.

He recalled one recruitment drive by a cruise liner, where only 10 Barbadians were hired out of an available 170 positions.

Meanwhile, Curriculum Development Liaison Officer with the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP), Henderson Thompson, said there were opportunities now for 400 young persons to go to sea.

Making it clear that the maritime industry was a "drug free" environment, Mr. Thompson told the press that they were in talks with a Norwegian Cruise Liner, which had made available 305 technical opportunities as well as 95 positions for hotel workers.

In terms of the SJPP’s offerings, he noted that in addition to further marketing of the courses currently being offered, the institution was seeking to expand its "maritime platform and offerings."

With all cruise staff expected to be trained in onboard fire fighting, he noted that one thing which was lacking in terms of its training capacity was a fire simulator, which the SJPP was seeking to source.

"There is still much work to be done. We need to let them [young people] know that there are exciting maritime careers available to them," he maintained.

Young persons will be further exposed to the available opportunities on Friday, September 25, when a career showcase is held at the Barbados Coast Guard Headquarters from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

In addition to participation from some 15 agencies, the youth will also receive some timely career advice when Life Coach, Dr. Adrian Daisley, speaks on ???Career Excellence – The Dream’.

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