Seafarers have worked in the blue economy for years, and Minister of Maritime Affairs and Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, wants to see retired seafarers passing on their knowledge to young people who wish to make a living from the sea.
He made these comments as he addressed a luncheon in honour of seafarers on Saturday at the Savannah Beach Hotel, as part of the activities for Blue Fest 2019, hosted by his Ministry under the theme Introducing the Blue Economy.
“I do not think your contribution is over. We have to find a way to draw on your skills and…resources to be able to give back. There are many components to the blue economy,” he said.
Mr. Humphrey stated that the Ministry’s goal was to “train-up” a number of young people to find jobs on the sea.
“There are lots of opportunities, but we don’t have as many young people now taking to the ocean. [So], I have asked the staff at the Ministry to find a way that we could work together to perhaps share some of your knowledge and skills in a formal and structured way, where we bring you in and [have] you speak to the young people,” the Minister said, describing them as ambassadors for Barbados.
He also expressed his gratitude for their contribution, noting that while the concept of a blue economy may be new for some, they understood the concept as they had lived and worked in it for a number of years.
“You are a true representation of what the blue economy is, and I personally want to thank you for what you have done for Barbados,” Mr. Humphrey said.