The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy is in the process of finalising a training programme to give young people the opportunity to train to work on cruise ships.
This was disclosed by Minister Kirk Humphrey on Friday, as he addressed an awards ceremony for outstanding students of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI), and staff at the Barbados Port Inc. (BPI), as part of Maritime Day 2021 celebrations.
Students of the SJPI, Isaiah Cozier and John-Bernard Yearwood, were awarded Most Outstanding Student in Maritime Operations Certificate, and Most Outstanding in Engineering, Diploma in Marine Diesel Engineering, respectively.
Mr. Humphrey told those present that the seafarers’ legislation was developed to offer the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers in Barbados and have it certified to allow more young people to be trained locally in the sector.
The Minister challenged the SJPI to make the syllabus “more fit for purpose”, to reflect current practices in the maritime sector, changes in legislation, and new initiatives at the Bridgetown Port to improve the processes.
“I feel strongly that we have to create better opportunities for young people,” he said, offering the suggestion that the SJPI should open its doors to those with zero qualifications to give them a second chance.
Deputy Principal of the SJPI, Brenda Osbourne, urged the two students to continue aiming high, as they continued on their journey.
She added that in shipping there was much talk about the JIT – just in time, and noted that the inefficiencies in turnaround times at the seaport needed to end, as unnecessary fuel emissions are released into the atmosphere while ships are at anchor. “Always think of the impact behaviours have on situations, be it social, environmental or societal,” Ms. Osbourne said.
In response, Mr. Cozier said he always had a passion for the sea and wanted to enter the field on the completion of his studies. He added that the course taught him about the day-to-day activities that took place on the sea.
Meanwhile, Mr. Yearwood thanked the Ministry for its efforts to push innovation in the maritime industry, and indicated that he hoped to be a part of that vision to continue to increase efficiency in the sector, going forward.
Also in attendance at the ceremony was Permanent Secretary, Sonia Foster, who wished the awardees the best in their endeavours. She added that it was important to continue encouraging young people in careers in the sector.