Students from some secondary schools across Barbados and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) got a first-hand look at job options within the maritime sector during an interactive career showcase at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed yesterday.
They expressed interest in the life of working at sea, and engaged employees of the cruise line Carnival Victory in discussion about hours of work, and career options.
The event formed part of the World Maritime Week celebrations held under the theme: 100 Years after the Titanic – Safety of Life at Sea. World Maritime Day is celebrated each year on September 27.
Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, encouraged the students to explore maritime careers as an option, noting that there were a number of job possibilities in that area.
Speaking during the showcase, the Minister told the students that they did not have to be actually engaged on the vessel to consider a maritime career.
He also informed the students that they could obtain jobs which dealt with the mapping of the sea bed. “All are related to the maritime industry,” he stated.
Executive Director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute, Fitz Pinnock, also told the students that he wanted to see more Caribbean nationals in command of major ships. “I want some of you to be captains and chief engineers. Caribbean people are great people,” he added.
Mr. Pinnock challenged the secondary school students to pursue subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, if they wanted to have careers as navigators and chief engineers. “The road to get there by having discipline and a strong science background,” he advised.
He added that a new post for an Electro-Mechanical Technician became available through the Manilla Convention of the International Maritime Organisation. “There are over 4,000 jobs opening up around the world, and I want Caribbean nationals to take advantage of that. Some are paying as much as 7,000 Euros per month,” he stated.
The Executive Director also challenged guidance counsellors to encourage students to consider non-traditional career choices when looking at their options. He noted that the Caribbean Maritime Institute was presently working with the Barbados Community College to deliver a basic safety certificate to qualify interested persons to work on cruise ships. “We can prepare and package you to work with cruise lines,” he said.
Schools taking part in the interactive career showcase included the SJPP, Lester Vaughan Secondary, St. James Secondary, Metropolitan High, Springer Memorial, Combermere and Queen’s College.