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Six off to marine institute

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Six off to marine institute

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BARBADOS IS GOING AFTER the thousands of jobs in the global maritime industry.
And it took the first step by sending six young Barbadians to the Caribbean Maritime Institute in Jamaica last week for three years of training that would equip them for such employment.
So said Minister of International Transport George Hutson on Monday while speaking at the Hilton Barbados, where a three-day conference of the Caribbean Shipping Association began.
“I think this is a tremendous opportunity for young people to advance their careers,” he said as he observed that Barbados needed to open pathways for young people to take advantage of the many opportunities available in the maritime field.
Hutson added that Government was already engaged in discussions with cruise partners about developing additional opportunities for young people to work on cargo ships.
Unlike times past, the minister said, when Barbadians settled for low-paying jobs as deckhands and stewards, modern technological changes had seen both cargo and cruise ships being electronically driven, bringing about a shift in emphasis from manual work to the need for people in the maritime sector to have a skill in electronics.
Acknowledging that the Barbados Community College’s Division of Hospitality Studies already offered training for jobs on cruise ships through
PomMarine Hotel, Hutson said there were “lots of opportunities” on cargo ships as well and, in partnership with the Caribbean Maritime Institute, Government expected to see “significant movement” in that direction.
Specifically, he pointed to the mega yachts currently sailing the Caribbean in which millions of dollars had been invested.
He suggested that the opportunities to train and develop people to captain those boats existed and Barbados and Barbadians should take advantage of them.
Supporting Hutson’s views, Caribbean Maritime Institute executive director Fritz Pinock said statistics published last year showed there would be a shortage of 75 000 officers in the shipping industry by the year 2013.
He argued that while Filipinos secured the most jobs in the global maritime industry, contributing significantly to their country’s gross domestic product, it was important for the Caribbean to capitalise on the opportunities since the region was a major area for the international operation of ships. (GC)